Christians are taught to use an acronym as an aid to prayer. Normally it is ACTS which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. In today’s devotional, Tozer strongly states that no one can worship (adore God) without the Holy Spirit. He says, “Worship has to be in the Spirit and by the Spirit. The notion that just anybody can worship . . . (or that) we can worship without the Spirit (or) that we can . . . ignore Him, quench Him, resist Him and yet worship God acceptably is a great heresy . . . .”
The most serious thing that keeps the Spirit out of my life is willfully unconfessed sin. I know that unless I keep short accounts with God (confession) then I’ve no power from the Holy Spirit. For that reason, ACTS does not work for me. I’ve changed the prayer acronym to CAST. Adoring God is more freely and joyfully given when my junk is acknowledged and cleared out of the way.
David knew the importance of this. He wrote:
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah” (Psalm 32:3–5)
On any given Sunday morning, some people in our congregation do not sing. Aside from reasons like a sore throat or not knowing the song, is it possible they have not had time to clear the air between them and God? Is the load of unconfessed sin hindering their worship? I cannot judge them, but know unconfessed sin will do that to me.
Confession is important as a prelude to worship for it is releases my heart to be Spirit-filled — and I cannot freely worship without the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when I need a reminder of how to pray, CAST works for me.
“Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.” (Psalm 47:6–8)
Lord Jesus, indeed You are the King of all the earth. You are sovereign and rule the nations. You are holy, enthroned in glory. Because of You, I can come freely to Your throne knowing my sin is forgiven and that Your Spirit is enabling me to sing praises to You!