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How to Pray

What do you call a person who only speaks to you when he needs something? 

Well that is often the only times we speak to God. Could you imaging a friend that only called you when they needed something? What kind of friend would that be.

Prayer is important. Most kids do not know how to pray. I was once taught a cool method that helps me pray. It's called the ACTS method. I use it as my guideline everytime I pray.

ADORATION: Begin the prayer by adoring God. Praise and worship HIM. This is a time for telling God what He means to you and how much you love Him.

CONFESSION: This is when we confess our all our sins to God. Un-confessed sin creates a barrier between you and God and can hinder your prayers.

THANKSGIVING: This is where we count our blessings, thanking and praising God for all He has given us and done for us in life. You may begin with the basics such as family, friends, food, shelter, safety, health, healing. 

SUPPLICATION: This is also known as Intercession. This is the phase of prayer where we come to the Father asking God to supply needs for ourselves and others.

Remember, prayer is an act of communing with God. It is about communication. It is about relationship with the Father. Use these steps to help you obtain that but don't feel you must adhere to any rigid rules. Also don't forget that communication is a two-way street, which means you have to listen as well. You may not hear at first but with practice you begin to feel God speaking to your heart.

As a Chaplain or Chaplain Aide, you may be asked to lead a group in prayer. It is important that your prayers be inclusive or respectful of all faiths represented in the group, but that does not mean that you throw out your own faith or attempt to pray in a manner that is not consistent with your own faith. Prayer is personal and must be sincere. As a Christian, my prayers are always to my heavenly father. But I usually begin a group prayer by asking the group to 'join me in prayer in the traditions of your faith'. 

Here are some examples of when you might be called on to lead prayer and some examples to get you started.

Invocations at the beginning of a formal event - An opportunity to remind everyone why we are gathering and to call up God to join the event.

Benedictions at the end of a formal event - A short prayer for divine help, blessing and guidance and a safe journey home after the event.

Grace before a meal - A prayer to thank God for the food and nourishment and an opportunity to gather as a group.

Prayer for safe journey before travel - Ask God for travel mercies, to keep our drivers alert and healthy, remind our Scouts to be courteous passengers.

Prayer for the sick - An opportunity to ask God for healing of the sick, wisdom for the caretakers, calm for the loved ones and miraculous intervention.

Prayer for a local or significant disaster - For those who have suffered loss, for rescuers and their safety, for neighbors to help each other for God to protect.

These are just some ideas to help you get started. Using the ACTS method will help you organize your thoughts. A prayer doesn't have to be long winded; it is always good in a group setting to allow for a moment of silence to allow others to lift their petitions to God.


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