“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8 ESV)
When you carefully observe the prayer life of Jesus, you see the earnest and focused manner with which He prayed. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed crying out with a loud voice and pleaded before His Father until “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
In contrast to how Jesus prayed, we often use the same words that we have used many times before and let our thoughts roam instead of praying the cries of our inmost being.
It is useful to use the “ACTS” template to inclusively focus on the four elements: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. These elements are, in turn:
Adoration: Praising and honoring God for who He is.
Confession: Admitting the sin in our lives honestly before God.
Thanksgiving: Verbalizing to God what we are grateful for in our lives and the world.
Supplication: Praying for the needs of others and ourselves.
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." - Martin Luther