Do you ever get in a dry spell with God?
You know…those times when you’re praying the same things over and over again? Or you’ve stopped praying altogether.
Or, do you find yourself at a loss for words only minutes into praying? Does your mind wander away?
All too often it takes a crisis to pull someone out the pit of these problem to they can come back to God with undivided attention. That’s a shame because waiting for a crisis is so unnecessary.
You have a better choice. Adopt a prayer model as a tried and true ladder to get you out of the pit. The ACTS prayer model is one of my favorites. This model is an amazingly simple yet powerful way to:
- Refocus your head and heart on things above without waiting for a crisis
- Start enjoying prayer once again
- Enrich your relationship with God for greater peace in your life
The ACTS Prayer method is one of my favorite prayer disciplines. ACTS stands for:
I cover each element of the ACTS prayer method in detail in today’s podcast. Below you can find a brief description of each piece. Also, I have a free downloadable two page worksheet to guide you in this super easy practice.
What does it mean to adore someone? It means that you love them. You love who they are and what they do. When I adore God I use what I call the formula of praise. This formula is a recurring pattern I noticed in the Psalms. David adores God in three ways: First, he tells God that he loves Him. Second, he praises God for who God is. Third, he praises God for what God does. To learn more about the formula of praise and to see examples click here and read the post, The Formula of Praise.
When I extol the goodness of God through adoration I find myself humbled. I am reminded of my sins. So I move from adoration into confession. When you confess try to be specific about acknowledging what you have done wrong. Get beyond generic confessions such as, “I haven’t been as loving as I should be.” Be specific, “God I have been avoiding Janet because I am angry with her. Forgive me for pushing her to the side so that I don’t have to deal with my anger. It is sinful for me to not give her the grace I have received.” Being specific will help you change. Notice in the example that I actively acknowledged my action as sin and why it is wrong. That sort of processing your actions within your prayers will help you change, but you only get there by being specific. To learn more about confession click here and read the post, Eradicating Spiritual Virus.
I am not sure I need to say much about thanks because most of us readily know how to say thank you and what gratitude is. I do want to point out two things. First, my experience has been that having thanks in my prayer model forces me to consider what I am grateful for on the days I feel less than grateful. Paul told the Colossians, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:16) Second, I actively give thanks for the whole of creation. I don’t only focus on the people and circumstance of my life. I give thanks for the earth, the plants, the trees, the animals, the birds, the stars, the sun, and the moon and all of these amazing pieces of creation that God has intricately woven together to make life possible.
To supplicate simply means to ask. At this point in your prayer offer God the concerns of your heart. Pray for friends, family, community, situations and yourself. Pray for whatever concerns you. Take time to intercede for others. I used to think that intercession just meant praying for someone else in general. However, as I studied the scriptures about interceding, I noticed that intercession almost always means praying about someone’s spiritual well-being. You may want to adopt someone specific to pray for daily. I find that to be a very powerful prayer discipline.
Lastly, when trying a new prayer discipline like praying A.C.T.S. prayers, do it for several weeks before judging the merits of the practice. Your entire first week you may be just getting comfortable with the practice. I highly recommend living into a practice a minimum of three weeks. Research suggests that it takes as much as 18 days for something to become a habit or norm for us. Persevere for a season so that you can see the fruit.
The ACTS PRAYER WORKSHEET
This two page download provides a reference sheet with tips to guide you in get the most out of each step AND a fill in the blank ACTS Prayer Template. Use it again and again.
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If you enjoyed this post and are serious about improving your prayer life immediately check out my book “Tips on Prayer, The QuickStart Guide to Improving Your Prayer Life. CLICK HERE.