Romans 8:26-28 – “26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Last week, we looked at what the prayer plan ACTS consists of, then a couple days later we used an outline to actually pray using this plan. Today, we will change things up so we can continue to enrich our prayer lives …
- We feel far away from God?
- We think God wouldn’t want to hear from us?
- We have these type of excuses:
- “I did this wrong,”
- “I sinned big time,”
- “I yelled at God in anger,”
- “I even said mean things to Him because He did not give me what I wanted the way I wanted,”
- “I know better, but I don’t want to do better,”
- “FILL IN YOUR OWN REASON.”
Now What Can We Do?
- Admit that we have sinned and done something wrong.
- Come to God with a repentant heart (letting God know we need to change the direction we are going)
- Then ask for forgiveness – remember Christ died so we could be forgiven.
- Then, start to walk with God again, realizing that our past has been covered – again by Christ who shed His blood for us.
“Procrastinate No More”
Let’s change up the ACTS prayer plan.
Some of us feel that we must come to God first with our confession – we must explain to Him why we desperately need what Christ died and rose to give us. We need to let Him know that we truly are sorry and want to walk in a different direction – the direction of a vibrant wholehearted relationship with Him.
ACTS becomes CATS or CAST
After we make our confession to God that we need a restored relationship, we feel empowered to offer Him adoration and this will determine whether or not we go into thanksgiving or supplication next followed lastly by the one we haven’t don yet. For our purposes today we are using CATS.
C = Confession
- Psalm 103:8-13 – “8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
- 2 Chronicles 30:9
- Numbers 14:17-18
- Hebrews 12:5-6
- Use these scriptures to help you make your confession to God.
After confessing to God, we feel that our slate is clean enough so we can come to Him and truly give Him the praise that He deserves. Now when we tell Him how great He is (praise Him) we feel like we mean it.
A = Adoration
- Romans 11:33-36 – “33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! 34 For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? 35 And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? 36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.”
- Romans 8:31-39
- Isaiah 11:1-5
- Psalm 104:2-9, 24
Now, some will be led right into T (Thanksgiving) or S (Supplication) or they will reverse the order and go into asking God to help themselves and others (Supplication) followed by Thanksgiving.
- Romans 5:6-11 – “6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”
- 2 Corinthians 8:9
- Jonah 2:2
- Psalm 37:39-40
Petition (Things I would like God to do for me and those closest to me)
- 2 Corinthians 1:12 (Ask God for guidance in helping others grow in Jesus, in your vocation, and your activities for today.) – “We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.”
- Psalm 25:15-21 (Ask God to help you be a faithful steward of your time, talents, possessions and relationships). – “15 My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies. 16 Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. 17 My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! 18 Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. 19 See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! 20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. 21 May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Intercession (Things I would like God to do for others)
- Isaiah 33:2 (Intercede on behalf of the poor, hungry, oppressed, persecuted and those who are in control of world and national resources) – “But Lord, be merciful to us, for we have waited for you. Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble.”
- John 16:5-11 (Pray for the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of others) – “5“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. 6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.”
- Philippians 2:2-4 – “Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
The point of this week’s message is to let us know that God wants us to converse with Him – He is not concerned with whether its ACTS, CATS, CAST, TACS or some other plan (which includes free style) – He just wants to be in relationship with us and that requires communication and ….
We must remember to let God have an opportunity to speak to us.
The challenge for us is to stop making excuses for why we think God might not want to hear from us – and start to realize that no matter what we have done – God is waiting for us to restore our relationship with Him. He will lead us but He will not make the final choice for us.
LET’S CHOOSE TODAY TO RE-ENERGIZE, OR RESTORE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Share, in the box below, how you keep your relationship with God fresh and energized.