Last week, we discussed ways to incorporate prayer into your women’s ministry. Today, let’s consider the importance of prayer in our own lives. Before praying in a group, we must practice the discipline of personal prayer. Some women are discouraged to hear how much time giants of faith spend in prayer and don’t realize it is a learned skill. Even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1).
As a young Christian, I struggled to stay interested in prayer. I began with the best intentions, but often forgot what I was saying. I caught myself trying to figure out a solution, totally forgetting I was asking the King of Kings for help! Journaling and using the ACTS format have helped me use my prayer time wisely.
God led me through a process of recording my prayers, solving much of my attention problem. He taught me writing prayers is important because it documents answers to prayer, grows your faith, allows you to see divine purpose in decisions and circumstances, provides perspective, and helps us see the order and the sequence of God’s activity in our lives.
In my personal prayer time, I use the ACTS format (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication).
Adoration is another word for praise. Praise acknowledges and celebrates the person of God and focuses on His character and attributes. Adoration is not the time for thanking Him for past blessings or asking for others. This time is set aside to remind you that you are about to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We were created to worship Him. (See Rev. 4:11.)
Confession means agreeing with God about sin and then turning away from it. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). No matter how long we’ve been out of fellowship, God is ready to forgive and restore us.
Thanksgiving reflects our attitudes. Say “thank you” for everything— blessings, provisions, people, and insights into God’s will. Thank Him for things that are difficult. He is molding you to look more like Him.
Then enter the supplication portion. Pray fervently for others to know and do God’s will and for yourself. God knows your needs, weaknesses, and fears. This is the time to pray for strengthening in your daily walk.
You will never learn to pray unless you begin. Prayer needs few resources and no budget! You need only an open Bible and an open heart to enjoy a successful personal prayer ministry. If you have not been regular in your prayer habits, I encourage you to begin this lifelong, life-changing pursuit today!
This article is adapted from Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, compiled by Chris Adams.
Johnnie Haines is a Christian motivational speaker who has spent more than 25 years encouraging and equipping women to be all God has called them to be. She has served as director of women’s ministries in both Texas and Mississippi.