Today in worship I shared with members of our church the story of one young man’s progression of growth in prayer. Below is a very abbreviate description of the progression he experienced.
- Doubt—He began with doubt. Through listening to many stories on answered prayer his curiosity began to peak and he started to recognize God answering prayers.
- Curiosity/Exploration and Work–He then looked for tools and I offered to him an A.C.T.S. prayer as one guide to expand his prayer vocabulary. A.C.T.S. stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. He started practicing the ACTS prayer.
- Hitting Walls–As he started to grow spiritually, it created internal conflict. He experienced a painful period of questioning his faith tradition.
- Service–Once he reconciled the internal conflict he was experiencing, he found himself wanting to teach others to serve and prayer with his newly integrated knowledge.
- Leadership–Overtime he actually learned to exercise leadership in prayer.
- Wisdom–Through the practice of leadership he came to possess not just a depth of knowledge in prayer but the wisdom to rightly discern the need and use of prayer.
- Full integration–He eventually came to have a body felt sense of the spiritual. He could feel when people were praying for him. Or felt unrest when spiritually a situation was out of balance.
This progression of learning is not only a normative sequence for prayer but of essentially anything else we learn. In the days to come I will unpack these pieces more clearly.