Explaining the A-C-T-S Prayer Guide
Over the summer, we have shared in three gatherings--Ladies Night, Guys Night, and The BLEND--the information that will follow. In case you were not present for these discussions, we wanted to share the message again, here, in the Midweek eBulletin. We want you to be encouraged and empowered to approach the throne of grace with confidence. Speak to the Lord and experience Him working in your life!
We all know that one of the best spiritual disciplines is prayer, and yet many of us do not pray enough. We all will probably admit that we fall short in our devotion to a life of prayer. Maybe one of the main reasons that we do not pray is because we do not know how to pray. How do we even get started? What should we include in our prayers? What shape should our prayers take? How do I get into a routine? Am I good enough to pray? What does the Bible say about prayer?
Well, we can’t answer all of these questions at once, but we can talk about some basics, and we should start by saying that any and all of us can pray. As a matter of fact, we must pray!
When a little girl starts to take dance lessons, she starts out by learning the basic forms, but, of course, the basics are something you use for the rest of your dancing career. A young ballerina learns good posture, tip-toeing, how to curtsy, and first, second, and third positions. These are the basic forms that she learns when she is first starting out, but she will certainly do them even if she becomes a professional dancer. Likewise, when a little boy learns to play basketball, he learns basic forms life boxing out for rebounds, triple-threat position, and following through on his jump shot. And, again, even if he becomes a professional, he will continue to do these basic things throughout his playing career.
In the same way, prayer can take basic forms. We could look to certain verses like Philippians 4:6 for the basic components of prayer. Or, we could consider the form of the Model Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Yet, these parts and forms may be hard to remember. Let me recommend an acronym that may help: A-C-T-S. The Bible teaches us in several places that we should do certain things in prayer, and this acronym pulls a lot of them together: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
Tips for using the acronym:
(1) Read a psalm or some other passage to begin your prayer time
(2) Quote the Scriptures in your prayers and claim God's promises
(3) Be specific for each of the parts (A-C-T-S)
Why should we adore the Lord? For what are things to praise God?
>>> He is our Creator, Provider, Defender, Redeemer, Loving, Gracious
What sins or weaknesses do we need to confess?
>>> We should name our sins plainly and specifically. Ask for help.
For what can we thank our Heavenly Father?
>>> Salvation, His Goodness, Family, Church, Work, all specific blessings
Is there anything we need God to supply for us or those we know?
>>> God cares for all. Ask him for daily bread, jobs, reconciliation, etc.