Summary: God has given us the tremendous blessing of prayer, the ability to approach and be heard by the creator of all things. Practice the FACTS of prayer and see what God does in your life.
The FACTS of Prayer
Reading: Luke 11:1-4
In this passage, Jesus provides His Disciples with a model for prayer. He wasn’t giving them, or us, a mantra for rote recitation. Consider:
1. This prayer is recorded twice in Scripture and the wording is different in each prayer. If Jesus was giving us a prayer to be memorized and recited, He would not have given us different words the two times He gave it.
2. The disciples said, “teach us to pray” not “teach us a prayer.” It’s one thing to read or deliver a prayer; it’s something else to know how to pray.
3. Jesus warns us against repetitive prayers. In fact, in the verse immediately preceding the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:7, Jesus says this: “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.”
4. This prayer is repeated nowhere else in the New Testament. We have no record of believers using this prayer in any of the other prayer passages in the Bible.
Clearly, Jesus was not intending to give the disciples some sort of prayer that they could memorize and then just deliver. It’s much deeper than that. Jesus wanted to give His followers a model to follow when addressing God so that we can learn how to pray like Jesus Himself prayed. That’s what we’re going to consider today, a model for prayer.
I remember learning of this model of prayer, using the acronym ACTS, when I was a kid growing up in Tucson. I first came across the model in print while reading To Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels which was first published in 1988. I’ve since come across the booklet Acts in Prayer by Eugenia W. Price, which was first published in 1974. I adapted the ACTS model to FACTS as a part of a sermon on spiritual sacrifice in 2001.
So let’s examine the FACTS of prayer:
A.Without Which We Can Expect Nothing From God
1.Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
B.Praying According To His Will
1.Ephesians 5:17 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
2.John 15:1-7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
3.1 John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
4.With the right motives “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…” James 4:3a
C.Knowing God Works Everything For Good
1.Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
2.Matthew 7:7-11 God gives what is best for us.
3.So it is when we pray in faith, and in submission to the will of God. He does not always give the very thing which we ask, but he gives what would be better, what is best. A parent will not always provide the “very thing” which a child asks, but considers the welfare of the child, and give what they think will be best.