How To Pray The Acts Method
"Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God."—Billy Graham
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you."—Jeremiah 29:12
What Is Prayer?
Prayer is conversing with God, plain and simple. And as our heavenly Father, God wants us to talk to Him about anything, any time, any place, in any frame of mind. So why do we make it so complicated? Brothers, it doesn't have to be hard. Whether you're new to the faith, an old-timer, or somewhere in between, it never hurts to start with a few basics.
Four Steps To Get You Started With A Healthy Prayer Pattern
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Let's begin with an easy way to remember some key ingredients to effective prayer: ACTS. Not the New Testament Book of Acts, but the acronym. ACTS stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Seem too formulaic? Hey – my perspective is that any tool we can use to promote and encourage one-on-one intimacy with our Father is a plus. Here's what ACTS is all about:
One | Adoration
You express your adoration for God when you worship Him. You praise Him for His attributes and actions, for who He is and all He has done, is doing, and will do in your life. God enjoys hearing your praise!
"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being"—Psalm 146:1-2.
Two | Confession
God already knows, of course, when you've strayed a little or a lot, but to acknowledge it – to agree with God about your wrong attitudes and actions – is to open the door to freedom from guilt and shame. Express sorrow for what you've said, thought, or done that is not pleasing to Him. Pour out your regrets, seeking God's forgiveness. Know and believe in His forgiveness even when you don't feel it. When you confess your sins, you receive God's mercy and cleansing. Confession ushers in a humble heart of gratitude that removes any barriers blocking your communication with our merciful, loving Father.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"—1 John 1:9.
Three | Thanksgiving
Say "thank you" to God! After all, He took your place on the cross, paying for your sins so that you can live with Him forever in paradise. Because of Him, you hit the biggest jackpot ever, and He gives us His love, protection, and provision to boot. Exercise a stance of gratitude to the One who gives all good gifts. We can (and should!) thank Him for what He teaches us through our hardships, too.
"I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord"—Psalm 116:17.
Four | Supplication
Don't be shy. It's okay to pray for what you want and need – and for the needs of others – your family, friends, pastor, leaders, missionaries, government leaders, and persecuted Christians around the world. Ask God for wisdom in every area of your life. Ask for His daily guidance, for courage, hope, and opportunities to serve.
"Let your requests be made known to God"—Philippians 4:6.
Never again do you need to say, "I don't know what to pray." Remember ACTS. I don't know who first thought it up, but a lot of Christian brothers and sisters around the globe use it to make their prayer lives more meaningful and productive. It's a great start to a healthy pattern of prayer.
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is 20 Lessons That Build A Leader.