ACTS Prayer Model
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Prayer can be a difficult task whether you are new to prayer or have been doing it for years. It is simply talking to your Savior about yourself or others that may need His attention. I don’t know about you, but I see that as a tall task; feeling that God may have ‘more important’ things to tend to than our problems (remember, He loves all His children). Luckily for us, Christians over the years have worked really hard on developing ways to better our lives in prayer, and ease that relationship forming with the Lord. We all want things to be simple, so we do it and the mountain doesn’t seem so big. We have already discussed the PRAY method which uses Praise/Pause, Repent, Ask, and Yield. While the PRAY method can be very successful in prayer for many Christians, it is not for everyone. That is when the ACTS method comes in handy. The ACTS acronym for prayer stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. The whole reason for another acronym for guiding prayer is to have another method for those believers who don’t necessarily connect with the PRAY methods but still require that guidance and that path. In this article, we will discuss the different parts of the ACTS prayer acronym, that way you can decide if this is the best method to help you grow your prayer life.
'What in the world is adoration, and why is it in a prayer acronym?' was the first thing that popped into my head while learning about ACTS. Let us start with what adoration means. Most Christians define it as quieting ourselves and our minds to honor and worship our Lord, for we love and respect Him. Now that we see what adoration means in our prayer acronym, we may ask the question 'why?' Why is adoration first, and why is it a part of our guide?
Well, one reason it is the first piece of the ACTS puzzle is it allows our mind to ground itself in one of life's truths. The Lord is worthy of all the respect, love, and admiration we can pour out from our worldly hearts. After grounding in truth, our hearts and minds are ready to move on into prayer with Him.
Another reason adoration could be the first piece of the ACTS puzzle is it quiets our minds so we can be present and listen to what the Lord says to us during our prayer. Once we quiet our minds and ground our thoughts, we are ready to confess.
Confession is owning up and acknowledging your sins, while giving them up to the Lord. We lift them up to the Lord because we fully and honestly regret what we have done. We know that through Him, we can be forgiven and allowed the opportunity to take those sinful actions and learn from them. We gain lessons for ourselves and ones we can pass on to others through our mistakes. To practice confession in your ACTS prayer, you need to take the time to list your sins to the Lord; say what your sins actually are. Once you have spoken of those sins, you need to fully understand their magnitude, be truly sorry for committing them, and see a growth opportunity from them. After this happens, lift those sins and that intention to the Lord and ask him to work through you to help you grow from those mistakes.
Confession might be difficult to understand or difficult to practice, but is something that we all need because we are sinful people. Just because we are sinful people doesn’t mean we are bad people. The human race is simply imperfect because we are people. Jesus came down to this earth to save us because we are not perfect. Do not underestimate the power of that statement and how thankful we should be because of it.
Once we confess our sins, it is time to give thanksgiving to our Savior. In my opinion, thanksgiving is the most simple section of the entire ACTS acronym. Plain and simple, speaking thanksgiving during prayer is just verbalizing everything in your life that you are thankful for. There is really nothing more to it than that. If you are thankful for your education, food, the relationships in your life, or anything on the spectrum of human life, now is the time to speak it to the Lord. Tell the Lord why you are thankful for these things and how they positively impact your life. Thank Him for putting them into your life.
The final part of the ACTS acronym is supplication. Now, you may be asking yourself, what in the world is supplication? It may be a frightening word, but supplication is actually really simple in practice. Supplication is praying for your needs and for the needs of others. This can be anywhere from you not feeling the greatest and asking for some healing to asking for people's safety in a war-torn country. Some, including myself, have difficulty completing the first part of supplication - praying for yourself. Most of us are experts in praying for other people because we are believers in God; we want the best for others. We cannot, however, forget to ask the Lord to work on things specifically for us. He wants to! He is our heavenly father and wants nothing more than for us to have a relationship together. Respect His wishes by letting Him help you. I know it may seem foreign to a lot of us. Like most things, start slow and work your way to it.
While this may not be the only acronym to help guide prayer, ACTS may be best for you and your journey. That is something you will learn after trying out PRAY and ACTS. While this may not make your prayer life perfect, it helps to know that no one has a perfect prayer life. If you have daily growth in your relationship with Him, then you are on the right path. All the Lord wants is a relationship with his children. Either way, what is achieved is a step in the best direction; toward him. God bless you all and have a wonderful day.