Rev. Rob Ferguson, MATS
24 Jan 2024
Prayer is just talking with God. There is a time to speak, a time to listen, and a time to just be with God. All three elements should be present within someone’s prayer life. Often people say they do not know what to say to God when they pray or say they do not know how to pray. There are many examples and plans for praying, but one of the simplest methods is A.C.T.S. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication; this acrostic is one’s basic outline for praying for when we do not know what to say or how to say it.
Adoration is telling God your love for him. Try to find words that tell of his greatness, the Bible is full of instances of people describing God’s glory and greatness; it is ok to borrow from what they said such as the angels saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!” This is also a great study to do in one’s Bible. Expressing your love for God is the big idea here, if you have the words then use them.
Confession is admitting the things in which we have wronged God or other people. This can be hard because we must admit to faults. This is a suitable time to deal with something that is not dealt with often, anger or disappointment with God. What do we do then? Good news! God is a big God and can handle your emotions! Tell him how you feel and get it out in the open, he already knows it. Might as well talk about it. Another question that pops up here is how do I know I have wronged God or someone else? There are two ways to figure this out, the first is we feel guilt for what we did or said. The second is what the Bible tells us is wrong. Once we have talked to God about it and got what we did against him righted, it is time to go and make things right with the people we wronged. Be strong, you can do it!
Thanksgiving is giving thanks to God for his work in our lives and others. What has God done in your life or the life of someone you know? Thank him for that! Can not think of anything? No, problem! Thank him for what he is going to do, because God is not just sitting there doing nothing; he is actively working on our behalf even when we cannot see it. A good list to thank God for starts with breath, sun, rain, animals, his love, Jesus, and the list can go on and on.
Supplication is making needs known to God. Start with the needs of the people you know. Pray for them like you would want someone to pray for you! What if you do not know any of their needs? Get to know them better, become better friends and one can always pray for others to know God better. Next, we move into our needs. A note of caution here there is a difference between a need and a want. Food is a need and an expensive new car is a want. Start praying for needs in your life and watch God meet them; then you will have something to add to the thankful list! What about our wants? Pray about them, tell God you would like to have something, he may bless you with it or he might not. Is it a sin to talk to God about wants? No, but I believe God will change our wants as we grow in him.
Let us recap! We know a basic method of now. A.C.T.S. Take this new knowledge or refreshed knowledge and put it to use! But how long should I pray? Until you are done!