Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

A.C.T.S. – The Model for Prayer I Use

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As Christians, we know that prayer is the most powerful way for us to experience God. But most Christians would agree that their prayer life is not what it should be. I’ve read many books about prayer in an effort to improve my prayer life. Here are 10 of those books that I would recommend.
Many Christians want to know the way in which to pray, but they are just not sure how to get started. There are a number of models that people follow, such as what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6: 9-13). A new book I would recommend that discusses this model is Albert Mohler’s The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution. David’s prayer in Psalm 51 is a good model for contrition. Paul Miller in his excellent book A Praying Life, talks about the use of prayer cards (one for each person you are praying for), while a friend of mine uses a prayer jar. I have tended to use a prayer list to capture my prayer requests. In addition, in his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, the best book on prayer that I have read, Tim Keller writes “From earliest times, the Christian church adopted the Psalms of the Old Testament to be its prayer book”.
Some people use a daily “Quiet Time” for their prayer time, while others, including my wife, pray throughout the day.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

I’ve found that the acrostic A.C.T.S. is the best model for me to use for my prayers. Each of the letters in this acrostic stand for one of the key elements of prayer:

A – Adoration. Far too often, we begin our prayers to God with what we are asking from Him, which in this model is called “Supplication”.  I like this acrostic as it begins with adoration, or praise. Beginning with a time of praise for who God is and what He has done, is a wonderful way to start your time of prayer.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! Psalm 95:6

C – Confession. After beginning with a time of adoration, we move to a time of confession. This is a time to pray for sins that we have committed against God and others and ask for forgiveness from God.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

T – Thanksgiving. The “T” in the acrostic is a wonderful time to thank our Heavenly Father for all of the blessings that you have been given. Far too often we just take the blessings we have been given for granted.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34

S – Supplication. Supplication is not a word we use often. Think of the “S” in the acrostic as the requests you bring before your Heavenly Father – for your loved ones, your church, your workplace, national and world issues, yourself, etc. As I mentioned earlier, this is where many of us start (and end) our prayers.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

The A.C.T.S. model of prayer helps me stay focused and organized in my prayers, beginning with adoration or praise.  What model or method do you follow for your prayers?

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

One thought on “A.C.T.S. – The Model for Prayer I Use

  1. I have found Luther’s Morning/Evening Prayers are a good model for me, with some contemporizing (the lingo of the 1500’s isn’t quite my style!).

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