It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” –Luke 11:1
Within the first few months after I dedicated my life to Jesus, I was told that I needed to pray. I had never been taught to pray as a younger person. I had been attending a church where all the prayers were printed in books and recited only in worship experiences by a man in the front of the church, who wore a robe. It was my impression that only trained people knew how to really pray and that if I prayed at all, I had to find a book to use.
No one had ever taken the time to explain prayer to me. That was soon to become a problem when my youth pastor asked me one night at a Bible study, “Robin, why don’t you pray for us?” I went into shock. Shock, however, is not what God has in mind for His followers when it comes to prayer!
In God’s eyes, there is no off-limits to prayer. As Christ-followers, we have been given “bold access” to God. When it comes to prayer, God has given us an open door to pray in any and all ways possible. When I was 17-years-old, I learned a great model for praying that I still find helpful today. It revolutionized my life and still guides me as I come into deeper relationship with God through prayer. It’s called A.C.T.S. and I hope you too, will find it helpful in your own prayer life.
Adoration — All prayer should include worship. Begin with the phrase, “I love (or adore) You, God, because You are…” The goal is to focus on an attribute of God. “Praise Him for who He is, not what He does,” I remind myself. We can always find words of adoration in the Psalms.
Confession — We need to remember that we are broken and need healing. Take time in prayer to say, “Lord, please forgive me for…” or “I’m sorry I… ” Be as specific as possible. Think back over the day to a time when you did wrong or were disobedient. Confession keeps us humble before God.
Thanksgiving – Teach yourself this important aspect of prayer: thanking God. You can thank God for the good things that have happened during the day or for special people in your life.
Supplication — This is what we most often do during prayer, asking God for “things.” Divide this category into two parts: praying for others and praying for yourself.
Try the A.C.T.S. method out for a week. See how this method works for your prayer life.
Luke 11:1-13; Psalm 150; Psalm 51