Purpose of Prayer

Prayer is a fundamental building block of our personal faith and is the primary communication path to communicate with Jesus Christ.  Have you ever thought about the real purpose of prayer and are you integrating prayer into your daily life? The following is a good concise description of the purpose of prayer. Included are bible references which you can read and study.

 

 

The Purpose of Prayer

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1. In August 2005, Newsweek and Beliefnet asked 1,004 Americans what

   they believe and how they practice their faith

 

2. One of the questions was this:  What do you think is the most

   important purpose of prayer?

 

3. Here are their responses...

 

   a. To seek God's guidance (27%)

   b. To thank God (23%)

   c. To be close to God or the divine (19%)

   d. To help others (13%)

   e. To improve a person's life (9%)

   f. Other (4%)

   g. Don't know (5%)

 

What is the purpose of prayer?  As the answers above suggest, there are

many reasons to pray.  One way to remember "The Purpose Of Prayer" is

with the acronym ACTS, where "A" stands for:

 

I. ADORATION

 

   A. EXPRESSING ADORATION...

      1. God is certainly worthy of our praise, our adoration

      2. While we can praise God in song, we can also praise God in

         prayer

 

   B. EXAMPLES OF ADORATION IN PRAYER...

      1. When Paul prayed for the Ephesians, he took time to praise God

         - Ep 3:14-21

      2. David provides an example of offering adoration and praise

         - 1Ch 29:10-13

 

Expressing adoration was not one of the responses in the aforementioned

survey, but it is certainly an important purpose of prayer. 

Continuing with our acronym ACTS, "C" stands for:

 

II. CONFESSION

 

   A. CONFESSING OUR SINS...

      1. There is mercy to be found in confessing one's sins - Pr 28:13

      2. The Christian enjoys cleansing of sin by the blood of Jesus

         - 1Jn 1:7-10

 

   B. EXAMPLES OF CONFESSING SINS...

      1. Jesus provided an example in the parable of the Pharisee and

         the publican - Lk 18:10-14

      2. Again, David provides an example with his confession of sin

         - Ps 51:1-13

 

Obtaining forgiveness by confessing sins is a blessing now enjoyed only

through Christ (Jn 14:6).  Once we have put on Christ (cf. Ga 3:27),

prayer is crucial to remaining forgiven. 

Continuing with our acronym ACTS, "T" stands for:

 

III. THANKSGIVING

 

   A. OFFERING THANKSGIVING...

      1. Being thankful is emphasized repeatedly in exhortations to pray

         - Ep 5:20; Col 4:2; 1Th 5:17-18

      2. The antidote to anxiety is to pray for everything, with

         thanksgiving - Php 4:6

 

   B. EXAMPLES OF OFFERING THANKSGIVING...

      1. Christ set an example of thanksgiving –

         - Mt 11:25; 26:27; Jn 6:11; 11:41

      2. Daniel had the custom to thank God three times a day - Dan 6:10

 

[We cannot discount the importance of thanksgiving in our prayers.

Especially if we expect God to answer us as we make requests for future

blessings. 

Continuing with our acronym ACTS, this leads to the final letter, where "S" is for:

 

IV. SUPPLICATION

 

   A. MAKING SUPPLICATION...

      1. We are encouraged to let our requests be known to God - Php 4:6

      2. We are commanded to make supplications for all men - 1Ti 2:1-2

 

   B. EXAMPLES OF MAKING SUPPLICATION...

      1. "Real widows" are known for their supplications night and day

         - 1Ti 5:5

      2. Solomon made supplication at dedication of the temple

         - 1 Kin 8:28-29

      3. Jesus made supplication as He was crucified; Stephen also, as

         he was being stoned - Lk 23:34; Ac 7:59-60

 

 

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Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011  ( http://executableoutlines.com/ )