What’s the key ingredient of prayer?

The best part of prayer is the human soul’s communion with the Divine Presence, and that usually happens when we stop talking and rest in Him. Listening. Abiding. Worshiping.

Of all the words we offer in prayer, most of them fall into the ACTS categories:

  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Struggles/Surrender (traditionally Supplication)

All are important, all have their place, and individuals may be called more to one area than the others. We need them all.

But I suspect the single-most important ingredient is adoration.

When we quiet ourselves before God and concentrate on Him: His character, attributes, will, purposes, His activity in our lives, something changes inside us. In the stillness, the peace, we find a gateway into the rest of what we need to say to God and to listening to what He has to say to us.

Adoration sets the tone.

God is exalted in our prayer, and this leads to each of the other areas: confession, thanksgiving, and requests for His help. It also strengthens our faith as we remind ourselves Who this God really is.

If time is short and I slip into just praying for needs, especially if those needs are overwhelming, I start wearing them like a burden. My perspective skews, and they look even bigger than they are. I lose hope, even while continuing to plead for God’s intervention.

Those are more wishes than prayers.

Grounding myself first in God keeps intercession true, because no matter how big the issue, I’m secure in the knowledge that God is bigger and that He has a loving plan. It reminds me that even when life is tough, God is tougher.

6 thoughts on “What’s the key ingredient of prayer?

  1. Janis Cox

    This is great. Can you rework and change a little and send for UTCOP. It speaks to people on a real level. We need to focus on God.. it is what I talked about today as well with the 3 word prayers. That really focuses me – I know Whom I am speaking to. But first connect – as the Lord’s Prayer – first part all about adoration of God – then “whine”.
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

    1. Janet Sketchley

      In my imagination, I can almost see God the Father shaking His head with a bit of sadness, leaning nearer to us and whispering, “Why don’t you stop wishing and just ask Me in faith?”

      And we all pray like this at times, so He must do that a lot.


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