Eloquent Prayer

Question:  Life-long Christians seem to eloquently roll out their prayers, but I really struggle with my thoughts.  Is there an effective technique to prayer? 

Answer:  No.  I’ll mention the ACTS pattern which roughly fits Jesus’ prayer-pattern in Matthew 6, sometimes referred to as the “Lord’s prayer”. The word “prayer” can encompass a number of kinds of conversations with God.  To remember the basic kinds of ways to address God, we sometimes use the acronym ACTS.  A=Adoration or praise for God, C=Confession of sin, T=Thanksgiving for forgiveness and other blessings, and S=Supplication or prayer for others and ourselves.  You will see examples of all these forms of prayer in the Bible.

But technique usually leads to or springs from a desire to make sure God hears and that He is obligated to respond.  But we know from what He says that He always hears us, regardless of how we word it, and He is eager to respond when it is good for us to get our requests.

Being more eloquent, then, is not the key to better praying. Being more honest and open is the key. If your child were to come to talk to you and began using eloquent language, but you knew he or she was hiding something from you, you would be disappointed. But even if he or she used stumbling language and yet told you exactly what was going on inside them, you would be excited because they trusted you to talk this honestly.  You would know they needed to unburden themselves and you would give them your love.

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