Next Steps: Week 2

Next Steps: Week 2 Day 1

Video Transcript

Okay, today, let's talk about prayer. For you and me to have a close relationship with God, we have to spend some time talking to God. I would encourage you to start your day with a couple of minutes of prayer, just talking to God about what is coming up for your day, and then as the day goes by, shoot up short little sentence prayers. Walk with God and talk with God all day long and at the end of the day, spend a few minutes talking to God before you go to sleep.

Let's talk about how to do this practically, because when I first gave my life to Jesus, I didn't have a clue how to pray or what to say when I prayed.

Let's first look at what prayer isn't.

1. Prayer is not about using BIG WORDS THAT IMPRESS GOD AND OTHERS.

When I was a kid, I remember a man in our church that prayed those King James kinds of prayers. His prayer would go like this: "Where for art thou our Heavenly Father, we beseech thee our Heavenly Father to come into thy divine presence our Heavenly Father." As a kid, I thought this guy must be close to God, but I just think that praying that way is weird as I have grown older. Can you imagine your kids coming in and saying, "Oh great and magnificent one, it is thine honor to be in your presence and do thy bidding." I don't want my kids to do that. If my wife wants to, I'm good with that. Prayer is just talking to God like you talk to anyone else. It's not about big words.

2. Prayer is not about HOW LONG WE PRAY.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:7, "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them."

There were people back in Jesus' time that thought the length of a person's prayer was what would impress God. I mean, if you only prayed for thirty seconds, God might miss it, but if you prayed for an hour, man, God would be so impressed that He would just give you whatever you wanted. Our prayers' power isn't in the length of our prayers, but from the one we are talking to.

Most prayers recorded for us in the Bible could be prayed in 60 seconds or less; don't think you have to talk to God for a long time. Again, I like to send short sentence prayers to God about what is going on in my life all day long.

3. Prayer is not about CONVINCING GOD or trying to figure out a way to twist God's arm so you can get what you want.

 Prayer is not about a wish list of things we expect God to do for us. And you know what? This kind of disturbs us because we want to learn how to pray in such a way that we can get God to say yes to what we want, but prayer isn't about changing God. Prayer is about changing us.

What should we talk to God about in prayer? We can talk to Him about anything, and we should talk to Him about everything. This is the way I look at it. If it concerns you, it concerns Him, and He wants you to just share your heart with Him.

When I was a new Christian, I was all over the map with my prayers until I learned a little acronym that helped me a lot.

This acronym serves as a guide to get you moving forward in your prayer life. It helped me a lot back in the day when I wasn't sure how to approach God in prayer. The acronym is A.C.T.S. or acts.


What does that word mean? It means to adore. When we begin to pray, we get to think about how amazing it is that we get the privilege of talking to God. When we start our prayers, we begin telling God something about Him that we appreciate about Him. Something that we admire about Him.

Think about this. The God who created the ends of the universe wants to spend time with me. The God who gave His only son to die on a cross for my sin and shame wants to spend all of eternity with me. When you stop and think about it, there is a lot about God that we can adore.

  • His character is holy.
  • His truth is absolute.
  • His strength is unending.
  • His forgiveness is unconditional.
  • His plan is perfect.
  • He is always faithful
  • He always cares about us
  • And He is never too busy for us.

You could start your prayer with, "Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you because you love me with unending love. I praise you because your strength is unending and because You are always there for me."

When I spend a few moments telling God how great He is, it keeps my life and my problems in perspective. It reminds me that God is bigger than anything I will face today, and knowing He is there for me is a huge game-changer for my life. He can handle whatever it is that I am facing.


This is where we spend a few moments confessing our sin. We are all going to blow it. I mean, like every day, we are going to blow it. When a person confesses their sins, that person agrees with God that what they did was wrong.

I think we should confess our sins one by one. I think it is kind of a cop-out just to say, "God, please forgive me for all my sins." When I used to pray that prayer, I never really changed my behavior because I glossed over what I have done.

When we confess our sins one by one, it causes us to think about the damage that we did to ourselves, to another person, and to the very heart of God. If you said something you shouldn't have said, if you did something you should not have done, if you ignored a need that you could have met, you need to confess that to God.

The Bible says in James 4:17, "Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it."

By confessing my sins every day, it stops pride from raising its ugly head in my life and causing me to think I am all that. By confessing my sins, I am always reminded that I am still a work in progress and that I need Jesus now more than ever before.

Here is how some of my confessions have gone over the years.

  • Yesterday I wounded my spouse with my words. I was cruel, insensitive, and sinful.
  • Last night I made a promise to one of my kids, and then I didn't keep it.
  •  I looked when I should have looked away.
  • I gossiped when I should have kept my mouth shut.
  •  I lied and exaggerated to make myself look better than I really am.
  •  I had a chance to make a difference with my life by meeting a need, and I did not involve myself.

We start off adoring God, then we confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness. The next letter is "T."

The "T" stands for THANKSGIVING.

This is our chance to thank God for all that He has done for us. I have so much to be thankful for, and so do you.

  • I can thank God for my family, my house, and this church.
  • I can thank God for my salvation and the price that was paid for my sin.
  • I can thank God for his patience and kindness that he shows me every day.
  • I can thank Him for my job.
  • I can thank Him for my food.
  •  I can thank Him that He has given me gifts, talents, and abilities that I get to use for His purposes.

And then the "S" stands for SUPPLICATION.

This is another big word that means we now ask God for what we need. This is where I pray for my needs and the needs of others.

  • I pray for my family. I pray for each of my family members one by one.
  • I pray that I will be a Godly husband and father. I pray for my friends.
  • I pray for those who God has put in my life that don't have a relationship with God. I ask God to use me to help them see that what they are missing in their life is a relationship with Jesus.
  • I pray that in everything I say and do, I would respond as Jesus would respond.

After you get done listening to me, I want you to talk to God in prayer. Tell Him something that you admire about Him. Confess a sin or two that you have recently committed and tell Him you don't want to do that anymore. Thank Him for all that He has done for you, and talk to Him about what you need. And as the day goes along, send up short little sentence prayers to God.

The more you talk to Him, the more you will draw closer to Him. Remember, it is almost impossible to have a close relationship with someone we never talk to, so spend some time each day with God and enjoy each and every moment of your day with Him.