Daily Devotionals

3 P's In A Pod: Week 1 - Monday

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." Luke 11:1

One of Jesus' greatest passions was spending time alone with His Father in prayer. The disciples saw this and marveled at this most intimate form of communication. After Jesus finished praying, His disciples asked for lessons on how to pray. It is here that Jesus gave both the disciples and us, a model of how to pray. This model describing the best way to communicate with God is known as: "The Lord's Prayer." You might be very familiar with this prayer if you have grown up in the church.

There are a couple of significant things to note about the Lord's Prayer. Jesus never intended for this prayer to be repeated over and over again. There are two references to the Lord's Prayer, one in Matthew 6 and the other in Luke 11, but we don't find Jesus or the disciples saying these same things again. When we repeat this prayer, it often loses the sincerity and the closeness that we see represented in Jesus' relationship with His Father. The other important element of this prayer is that there is a process that Jesus went through in approaching His Father. We have covered this before in the daily devotional, but it is important to review because these four elements are foundational for our prayer lives. The four elements have often been communicated through the acrostic: ACTS.

Adoration- Jesus starts by acknowledging God's place. He says that God's name is Holy and to be revered by all of us. It makes sense in our prayer life to acknowledge who God is and His rightful place in our lives. We have to imagine God in heaven on a throne. This helps us to strip away the feeling that we are just talking to the ceiling. By coming to God in prayer, we remember He has the power to save, create, forgive, and so much more. We have to begin by putting God in the right spot, on the throne of heaven, as Lord and Master of our lives.

Confession - In light of who God is and His Holiness, it puts me in my place. We see this when Jesus says, "Forgive us our trespasses." This is the act of getting right before God and being cleaned out. When we pray, we should be confessing the areas where we have blown it before God. We should be laying them out, instead of trying to act like we have it all together.

Thanks - We should be grateful for the grace of God, and that He offers forgiveness for every one of us. We should be grateful for all the things He has done for us in this life. When we focus on all the gifts that God gives us, our attitudes change. Instead of just looking to God for what He can do for us, we acknowledge who He is, confess our sins, and then offer thanks for all He has done for us. Often, when we have spent time doing these three things, we realize that our will is shifting to be more in step with His will.

Supplication - The last step is asking God for what you need. Supplication is a big word that means humbly asking for something that you need. God is able to meet our needs and to help us when we humbly come before Him. He is our Father and loves to give us good gifts. He listens to our prayers and always answers. We just have to be faithful to bring our requests to Him.

When we pray, we should follow the example of Jesus. When we come before God with sincerity, He moves mountains, fights our battles and supplies our every need. Today, make some time for prayer!

Moving Toward Action

The other week I walked into Pastor Dale Coffing's office, and I noticed that he had sticky notes all over his clock. I asked him, "What are all those papers on your clock for?" He said, "Those are my reminders to pray for different people at different times." He would pray for his small group, then his ministry, and family all at different times throughout the day. I was in awe of how Dale had a plan for his prayer life. If you are humbled like I was when I walked into Dale's office, it might be time to put a plan together for spending time alone with God. It could be a sticky note on your clock, a journal that you buy, or even a recurring calendar event that you put in your smartphone. Come up with some ideas and create a plan for your prayer life.

Going Deeper

Read Luke 11:1-13 (NLT)

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may your name be kept holy.
    May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”