By Nancy B. dela Concepcion

Dear SBC Family,

I was asked to write a BLOG on prayer—one of the Christian disciplines. I will share with you the “method” or “model” that I use for prayer.

What is prayer? Prayer is talking with God. Communicating with Him on a regular basis. Jesus gives us an example in Matthew 6:9-13 where Jesus says, “This, then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father is heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.’ ”

The model for prayer that I use is called ACTS. Over thirty years ago a woman at the church I was attending gave a class on prayer using this method. I have been using it ever since then.  

A – Adoration

C – Confession

T – Thanksgiving

S – Supplication

Adoration: Acknowledging who God is; His attributes and character.  It is worshipping our awesome God for who he is and what he has done.

I read through Scripture, especially the Psalms, and list the attributes that I find. I also use the passage of scripture that my Bible study lesson is covering that week.

Confession: Next I list the sins, weaknesses, and inadequacies I need to confess and then confess them to the Lord.

Thanksgiving: This is an opportunity to thank God for who He is and what He has done in my life and in the lives of others. Remembering His grace, mercy, love, protection and provision for example.

Supplication: Bringing requests for the needs and desires of others as well as myself to the Lord. I list names, families, friends, our church as well as community concerns, and our country for example, in addition to whoever and whatever the Lord places on my heart to pray for.

In my prayer journal I list “ACTS” vertically, leaving space to fill in each area.  At the top of the page, I also write the date and the scriptures that I used that day. When I have listed everything, I go to the Lord in prayer, with all I have written down and anything else God brings to mind.  

Using this model has helped me stay focused on the Lord when I am praying. It is easy for distractions to pull me away from thoughts of God to whatever else is going on in my life.

Periodically I look back in my journal (now many journals) to see how or if my prayers were answered. Also, it helps to see what I was praying for at a previous time in my life. I can see how God answered, how He was and is working through a situation, what things I have been praying a long time for, and God’s faithfulness.

One time, when one of my children was in high school, he/she read my journal. That child told me “Mom, I read your journal. How did you know what I needed prayer for?” That was like a confirmation of the Holy Spirit’s leading and directing me.

Several years ago I looked back at my old prayer journals to see how long I had prayed a specific request for my husband. It was many years, but the Lord did answer that prayer. It was amazing to look back and see how long I prayed for that particular situation. The Lord truly answered my prayers in His perfect timing and according to His will.

These are my thoughts and experiences using this ACTS model for prayer. I hope and pray it will be an encouragement and help to others.

Here are a few verses that speak about prayer:

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:26-27

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to prayer for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Psalm 62:8

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. “

Matthew 7:11 

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Psalm 5:3

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Psalm 88:13

“But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.”

Let us pray. Dear Heavenly Father, you are gracious, kind and compassionate. You hear our prayers and answer them in your perfect time and according to your will.  Thank you that when we confess our sin to you, you are faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9). Lord,  please help each of us turn to you daily.  Help us to trust you knowing you are in control of every situation in our lives.

In Jesus name with praise and thanksgiving, Amen.

ACTS Prayer Handout

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