Leviticus 26:3-4 (New International Version, ©2011)
3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.
The other night when I was putting my son to bed, we were praying. I am trying to teach my children the ACTS method of prayer.
A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplication
This is not the only way we pray but I do think it's important to remember that praising God and thanking him need to be a big part of our prayer time. Prayer is not just about asking God for things and that can easily become our focus. To help them out I start and they finish. What I mean is that I'll pray, "Dear God, You are great because ...." and they'll come up with a reason. I try to encourage them to not thank God at this part. Just try to recognize a different quality trait or the character of God. Something that is independent of his actions. Then we go on, "I confess my sin today when I ...." I tell them they can pray this silently but often they choose to confess their sin out loud. "Thank you for ...." and we finish up with, "I pray that ..." Again, not that I want my kids to think their is some magical formula to prayer, but I just want them to include some praises and thanks in their prayer time.
To get back to where, I started, I was putting my son to bed the other night. We prayed and he thanked God for letting him get some good hits at his baseball game. This struck me because I would have thought that my son would think that good hits were purely the result of his own efforts and skills. When we finished praying, he elaborated on this prayer. He told me that every time he gets up to bat, he prays to God that he will get a hit and then he prepares for rain. Now, if you have seen Facing The Giants, you know what I am talking about. If not, take a minute and view this clip.
Okay, are you with me now? My sweet son told me that he prays for a hit and then he prepares for rain. He keeps his eye on the ball, he steps towards the pitcher and he swings hard. He does his best and leaves the results up to God.
And if that just doesn't make my heart burst with pride. Well, it does. I love my son deeply and my prayer is that he will prepare for rain and wait on God to answer.
Jeremiah 14:22 (New International Version, ©2011)
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, LORD our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.
Revelation 3:7 (New International Version, ©2011)
To the Church in Philadelphia7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.