by Angie Thomas

I was really struck by Laurie’s discussion in the lecture about God’s name being “hallowed.” Mariam Webster defines “hallowed” as “sacred, revered, holy or consecrated.”  How amazing to think that His name alone is to be revered and considered holy.  David models this well for us in the Psalms.  Here are just a few examples:

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness” (Ps 29:2).

“Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above the earth and heaven” (Ps 148:13).

“He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name” (Ps 111:9).

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him!” (Ps 68:4).

I have found that one of the things that has most transformed my prayer life is starting my prayers by hallowing or praising His name, acknowledging who He is.  Just acknowledging who He is can often change the rest of my prayers.  It is powerful. The second piece that has transformed my prayers is confession.  It is so freeing and cleansing to be able to confess our weaknesses and failings to the Lord.  It emphasizes our need for Him and points us to the cross.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  This can be followed by thanksgiving, praising God for what He has done and for what He will do. Psalm 107:22 says, “And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy.”  It is then, after our minds are filled with the glory of God, our hearts are cleansed from our sinfulness and selfish desires and are filled with joy and thanksgiving for Him, that we can offer our petitions rightly to Him.

Many of you are familiar with this form of prayer identified with the acronym ACTS: Adoration (Praise), Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  I remember when I was first introduced to this method I thought it seemed so cumbersome and too regimented.  Mostly, it just revealed my pride that I could just pray to God however I wanted.  Don’t get me wrong, we totally can talk to God without adoring Him, confessing our weakness, and thanking Him for His grace and favor, but our prayers will be hindered by their human focus instead of our God focus. Of course, there will be times when our prayers will be a desperate cry to God for His help and the Bible encourages us that in those moments (as always) the Spirit intercedes on our behalf. But, I would encourage you to follow the example of Scripture that also demonstrate the components of adoration, confession, and thanksgiving.  You will be so blessed as you see your prayer life transformed!

May we seek to know the heart of our King more and more each day through prayer and worship of Him and may our eyes be opened to see His answers to those prayers and His mighty hands at work!

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