How to pray when you’ve got nothing to say

Martin Luther's barber and prayer

Let’s face it Martin Luther’s face wasn’t the most edifying to look upon and yet His legacy is far more beautiful than diamonds and pearls. Click to enlarge.

Like all the great reformers of that day Martin Luther would get his haircut. I say this tongue in cheek but sometimes we forget that these giants of the faith were normal people too. Anyway, Martin’s barber must have been a spiritual man because he requested in a letter that the reformer give him a few tips on how too pray. Martin, always the over achiever, wrote back a 40 page booklet making known a couple of his “inside secrets”.

My favorite tip boils down to this: Select a verse or passage from Scripture, realize first off that the text was given for instruction or teaching. Take that instruction to heart and internalize it. Then turn to God and adore Him for what He has revealed of Himself. After that spend some time confessing where you fall short of living this out in your daily life. Finally ask God by means of supplication (a prayer asking God for something) to grow you into what He’d have you be.

Teach, Adore, Confess and Supplicate. TACS.

In practice it looks like this. Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1 – 10 is a great place to go and look for ammo. Let’s look at verse 2,

2 “There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

Teaching: The Lord is Holy, which means He’s set apart from sin.
Adoration: Father God, truly you are holy and pure. You stand apart…
Confession: Lord God, how often I fall short of your holy standard…
Supplication: Please Father, by your Holy Spirit would you aid me to walk according to your will…

Another verse? I love Psalm 145, it’s another great psalm of praise and worship. Let’s consider verse 3,

3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.

Teaching: The Lord is great and worthy of praise.
Adoration: Our heavenly Father, your greatness is over all things…
Confession: Our Lord God, How often do I choose to follow other things…
Supplication: Dear Lord God, change my heart that I’d always seek to worship, to praise and to adore…

Get the picture?

How do you pray? I often use the acrostic ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. This was adopted from Chris Woolley’s teaching on prayer this Sunday. Our next gathering is on Wednesday from 18:30 – 22:30 where we will be peering and practicing Thanksgiving, Supplication, Intercession for our church and Intercession for missions and evangelism.


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