I’m reading a great book on prayer again in my Radical Mentoring group. Just finished the chapter dealing with a simple pattern that I’ve used and encourage others to use as a part of developing their relationship with God through prayer. It’s simply called ACTS in prayer.
A = Adoration. Adoration means we slow down and focus on who God is – His attributes. Sometimes I’ll reflect on one attribute I’ve read in a passage of Scripture. This morning I read Psalm 17:6-7 which reminds me that God is a God of love and wonder who delights in listening to me and answering (in His way) when I pray. There are other times I use what’s called the Alphabet of Praise and praise God for an attribute that comes to mind for each letter of the alphabet (usually excluding X and Y – ha).
C = Confession. To confess means I agree with God about my sin. For me, this means getting specific and naming the things I know are wrong or that He brings to my mind that are wrong; and asking God to forgive me. Confession is not saying: “Please forgive us of all our sins.” Confession means getting specific. True confession also means I ask anyone I’ve wronged to forgive me. Confession is like taking a spiritual bath and helps me maintain fellowship/closeness with God and others.
T = Thanksgiving. I love it when my kids are grateful for what we do for them. I love it even more when they take the time to express their gratitude. We’re about to celebrate Thanksgiving in our country, but we should celebrate the things we’re thankful for by expressing thanks to God daily. You might want to stop right now and think of 10 things you can thank Him for today.
S = Supplication. Supplication simply means asking for help. Supplication includes praying for myself, my family, other people, and other needs. I use a system of prayer cards now, but have used a system where I kept a prayer journal with sections to use for different needs. Sundays I prayed for our church services and all the aspects of things that took place as we gathered as the church on Sunday. Mondays I prayed for missionaries and missions. Tuesdays I prayed for people I knew who were far from God. Wednesdays I prayed for workers in God’s Kingdom; other pastors and friends in ministry. Thursdays I prayed for the leaders of our Country. Fridays I prayed for my extended family. Saturday I prayed for myself and some specific needs. I also kept a daily section, a long term section and a short term section for a few other specific requests.
Most of us have thought about prayer and have been taught about prayer, but we just don’t pray. If we’re going to follow the example of Jesus, we are going to have regular times when we get alone with our Heavenly Father and pray.