It can be difficult to know how to pray. If you are a new believer in Jesus Christ, you are learning how to relate to God in a personal way. If you are a maturing believer, then sometimes its difficult to find the words as you go through times of loss, grief or other challenging circumstances.
One of the things that has helped many believers to find their way is to follow a simple acronym. Following the A.C.T.S acronym has helped believers in conversing with God when they are learning how to pray, or don’t know what to say. The following is a simple explanation of this acronym:
- Adoration: To worship and to praise God is a wonderful way to help us to focus on the One who is worthy of all of our glory. In Psalm 95:6, King David encourages us to: “Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” As we worship God, we can delight in His character and remember the many good things He has done for us. This helps us to enter into time alone with Him.
- Confession: Agreeing with God is important in the growth and maturity of our relationship with Him. For example, where we have sinned, we are encouraged to confess our sins, because “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Acknowledging our sins before God helps us to hear from Him, and to be reassured of His presence with us.
- Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord in appreciation for all of His wonderful works. Psalm 9:1 says: “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.” When God opens our eyes to His goodness, our attitude changes, and we begin to be thankful for all He has done for us.
- Supplication: We can humbly submit our requests to God. Philippians 4:6-7 says: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God want us to make our requests known to Him, so that He can help us.
I hope that the ACTS acronym will be helpful to you. Sometimes, we need some direction and guidance in our prayer life, and we can definitely learn from other believers how to pray.