Let me just tell you about this awesome prayer structure called the ACTS prayer method! You know when you want to pray and start out and then your wheels start turning and your mind goes from being thankful for the chance encounter with a friend to remembering that cute haircut she got. I need a haircut. And where did she say she got that cute top? What am I going to wear tomorrow to work? What’s the weather forecast? I should’ve looked that up on my phone. Speaking of, I need to remember the kids’ yearbook. No, for real, I just remembered.
Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this! I’ve got so much on my TDL that it seems to butt into my prayer time.
Have you ever read Tim LaHaye’s book How to Study the Bible for Yourself? I recently reread and reviewed this old book. You can read that full review here. One of the methods he covers in it is prayer which somewhat surprised me. While they definitely go hand in hand, I don’t consider prayer a part of my actual bible study methods. Nevertheless, this method proved to be practical and easy to apply. Right up my alley!
Speaking of study time, we all know sometimes it can be hard to get quality Bible study time in. You have a few moments, open the “good book”, and then the phone dings, someone interrupts, or your eyelids all of a sudden weigh five pounds. This FREE Bible study checklist guides you through your reading, keeps you focused, prompts specific thoughts and analysis, and helps you get more out of your study time. Grab it below!
The method was utilizing the acronym ACTS. I’ve been utilizing this practice again since I refreshed myself on the book again and it has honestly kept me focused and given my prayer a more purposeful structure. It has also helped me lead my little ones through prayer.
A – Adoration
It seems fitting that we start our prayers with adoration of the Most High. I always end up singing “Waiting Here for You” when I start adoring my God.
But sometimes this isn’t as easy. What if you’ve got very serious, very immediate needs? I’ve been there. I’ve wanted something so bad that I’ve poured my heart out and begged for it. I’m not saying that God doesn’t like that or that we shouldn’t do that. What I am saying is that starting a prayer with adoration puts your perspective in exactly the right place. Be blown away by God’s might, His power, His majesty.
We can adore many, many aspects of God. It is amazing that He knits life together in the womb (Psalm 139:13-14) and knows exactly the number of hairs on one’s head (Luke 12:7). His omnipotence and sovereignty are so magnificent they’re beyond comprehension (Job 42:2). He is all-knowing (Romans 11:33), all-seeing (Proverbs 15:3), and all-present (Matthew 28:20). He is three in one (2 For 13:14). He is infinitely good. We admire His grace and mercy, His love (Psalm 86:5). Spending a few minutes adoring your Lord is so valuable. He is SO AMAZING!
Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless.Isaiah 40:28
Adoring how great Yahweh is leads us into the next part of this prayer method.
C – Confession
This one usually isn’t too hard for me. I mean, I do a lot of crap wrong throughout the day. I pray for forgiveness for griping, for a negative attitude, for discontentment. You don’t really need any help understanding confession, huh?
An important aspect of confession is that we take the time to examine our hearts. Maybe there is something that didn’t manifest itself in action but that I still need to confess because it is sin in my heart. Confessing our sins to a perfect God is a perfect reminder that we need Him desperately.
Looking inwards in comparison to His perfection and realizing that not only does He forgive us, but that He loves us takes us naturally into the next step of the ACTS prayer method.
T – Thanks
You can’t help but give thanks after you’ve spent some time reflecting on who God is and confessing your sins and knowing that He loves you and gave His son to pay the price for those sins. Giving thanks is one of my absolute favorite parts of prayer life. We have much to be thankful for. We could spend all day going through everything. The air we breathe. The people in our lives. Food we eat and provisions He gives. Opportunities He grants us. He loves us! On and on and on and on.
Side note: Thankfulness is also one of the best prayer tools to divert attention from stressful circumstances to the One who holds it all. You can read more about how I use thankfulness to battle anxiety here.
S – Supplication
Fancy word for presenting your requests to God. We all have needs and longings that we can take to the Father. You might be asking God to intervene on someone’s behalf or to provide an answer for a loved one. Maybe you’re praying for healing for a broken body or asking God to break through a heart of stone. I encourage you to keep a running written list of prayer requests. Leave room to the side of each one. When God answers your prayers write it down! You will have a wonderful journal of prayers you’ve prayed and answers God has given. Oh! This gives me chills.
Taking our requests to God can be where we tend to start our prayers most of the time. The ACTS prayer method definitely helps me prioritize things other than requests. By practicing the ACTS prayer method, we can get so much more out of our prayer time. Enjoy using it to promote adoration of the King, confession of the heart, overwhelming gratitude, and trusting God with your wants and needs.
And don’t forget to grab this FREE Bible study checklist to help you get more out of your study time. Follow its steps so you don’t feel lost. It will help you stay focused and get more out of your time in order to grow in your knowledge of the truth.
Know I’m praying for you!
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