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Wednesday: July 28, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

My personal devotional time begins each morning with a recitation of a chapter out of the Gospel According to John; after this, I write a write a letter to God; after this, I read a portion of Scripture; after this, I write a letter to you. Prayer is very very important to me. I surround my prayer time with the Scriptures. The Puritans have much to teach us about prayer, for they were a prayerful people. In the liturgy of the worship service, at Sylvania Church, our pastor often reads a Puritan Prayer from the Valley of Vision; therefore, I believe that the Puritans have much that they can teach us about prayer. 

The Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 98: What is prayer?
Answer: Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.

I do not always do so, but several years ago, someone suggested to me to use the acronym A.C.T.S. while praying. 
  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Supplication
Praying in this way has been very helpful. I once read The Life & Testament of Jim Elliot. Jim Elliot was a young missionary in Ecuador who died at the hands of natives that he was attempting to reach with the gospel. In his journal, Jim Elliot wrote, based on the Lord’s prayer:
  • Pray for God’s name
  • Pray for God’s kingdom
  • Pray for God’s will
  • Pray for our needs
  • Pray for our debts
  • Pray for our debtors
  • Pray for our deliverance
Both of these suggestions: the acronym acts and praying for these seven, have been useful in my prayer life. In the remaining questions and answers given in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, we will be exploring what the Puritans suggest. May your prayer life abound to the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

Michael Peek
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake

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