Prayer Essentials

Prayer is essential to knowing God and growing spiritually; it is about communication and relationship with the Father. At West Valley we are striving to become a people of prayer. If you are new to the faith, or have just never made prayer a priority in your life and feel lost at where to even begin, here is a model that outlines how we should pray. It is captured in the acrostic ACTS, where each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer:

Adoration (worship) - A good example of this type of adoration is found in Psalm 95:1-7. When we take time to praise and worship God in our prayers, we are placing God where He rightfully belongs. As a result, our problems and needs come into their proper perspective.

Confession (of specific sins) - The confession of our sin removes any barriers and clears the air of anything that would cause God not to hear our prayers. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us …”

Thanksgiving (gratitude) - Our immediate response after confession is thanksgiving. We should be thankful that God would indeed cleanse and forgive us. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever.” By giving thanks, or simply expressing gratitude for what we have, we prevent our focus from shifting to what we do not have.

Supplication (specific requests) - If we are faithful in the first three steps, the last step will not degenerate into some spiritual shopping list. Yet, God does want to hear our needs and requests. Scripture tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, and let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7). We are also promised, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:l9).

From time to time the leadership will encourage participation in a specific time of fasting and prayer. The links below are intended to guide you through the process of fasting so that you may experience success. The third link is a list of current church-wide prayer requests; use this to supplement any personal lists you may already have.

7 Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer