The act and discipline of prayer is modeled for us all throughout Scripture. From Abraham to the Apostles, the concept and practice of prayer is something that God has put a great emphasis on. Even Jesus, God’s Son prayed. Wow. If Jesus needed to stay in contact with His Heavenly Father, how much more so should we!
Most often we know what we should and are supposed to do, but the problem is: WE DON’T DO IT. A myriad of excuses come to the surface of why we can’t or why we don’t, but the truth is that we must. Often times we find ourselves so overwhelmed and do not even know where to start. A great acronym I heard long ago helps remind me of some key aspects in prayer and also helps me focus. It is the word A.C.T.S.
A – Adoration
This is where we adore the Lord and confess His goodness, His Kindness, His love. This is where we would worship Him and see Him high and lifted up in our lives. Psalm 29:2 declares, “Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” And Psalm 96:9 states, “Worship the LORD in all His holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before Him.”
C – Confession
This is where we confess our sins to God and He who is faithful and just, based on the blood of Jesus, will cleanse us and forgive us of all our wickedness. This comes from 1 John. 1:9. We need to do this daily because we sin by choice and by nature daily. We willingly rebel against what God has said, and we fall short of His standard even when we are trying our best.
T – Thanksgiving
We are to be a thankful people and we have MUCH to be thankful for! We should thank God not only for the physical blessings in our lives, but the spiritual ones as well. Just in Ephesians chapter 1 we see how we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. You and I can thank God for His redemption, forgiveness, kindness, mercy, grace, His presence, His Holy Spirit and of course His great love for sinners like us.
S – Supplication
In Philippians 4:6 we read, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” This is the bringing of requests and pleas to the Lord. These can be for us personally and our families as well as pleas and requests for others. The idea here is that HIS WILL is accomplished not ours knowing that His will is best.
Prayer is not meant to be complicated. It is simply talking to God like you would talk to a friend or trusted family member. Perhaps this acronym of A.C.T.S. will help you get started and be a blessing to you as it has been to me. If you are reading this you know very well you should pray and talk to your Maker. Just do it and start right now!
May God strengthen you as you endeavor to practice the imperative discipline of prayer.