‘And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ Colossians 3.17
Praying isn’t easy. Every Christian knows it is important to do, but it often gets squeezed out of our lives. Any help to pray is usually gratefully received. One famous acronym to help structure our personal prayer times is ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. The aim is to make it a simple, practical routine. Another acronym I heard of recently is ICGP – which stands for I Covet Godly Prayer. This one particularly concentrates on prayer in conjunction with Bible reading.
So, I for Instruction. Having just read a portion of Scripture, what is the text teaching? What instruction is it giving me? It may be very straightforward. For example, if I have just read the Ten Commandments. Or the instruction could be shown through the course of a gospel story or Old Testament narrative. If I can discover what God expects or requires from me then I know I’m on the right track and I can pray about his instruction.
C for Confession. There must be confession in our prayer time because we can only know God through his forgiveness and mercy. How have I failed to do this or that? How have I failed to follow the instruction in his Word? What are the specific attitudes and actions where I fall short? I’m to identify these and confess them to the Lord.
G for Gratitude. In particular we are to be grateful for Jesus and the gospel, which is what God’s Word is pointing us to. In other words, I am to pray with thanksgiving for Christ’s incarnation, his life of obedience, substitutionary death, resurrection, ascension, rule, return, and eternal kingdom. This fills my heart with praise! How can I be anything but grateful for the one who took my place and secured my righteousness and a place in God’s kingdom?
P for Petition. This kind of petition is a prayer to obey the Bible passage we have just read. In light of all God has done for us, we pray that we would do what God’s Word commands. As Jesus encourages us, we ask, seek and knock.
ICGP could be good scaffolding for our prayers. It may help keep us fastened to God’s Word and holding tight to the gospel. Let us pray.
Sincerely in Christ