If you would like to breathe new life into your prayer time, the ACTS prayer method can help you.
Would you like a more focused prayer life?
Your Heavenly Father wants to meet with you in prayer because he longs for an intimate relationship with you.
This method of prayer is a great way to add balance and structure to your prayer time.
By praying four different types of prayers, the ACTS model will help you focus on the character of God, confess your sins and receive God’s forgiveness, cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving, and make God-centered requests on behalf of others.
The ACTS method might be the right thing for you if you feel stuck in your prayer life or if your prayer time feels dry.
Remember, the goal of any prayer method is not to effectively complete the steps; instead, the goal is to encounter and connect with the Living God.
When this happens, our lives are transformed. Let’s learn how this simple acronym can transform your daily prayer life.
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What is the ACTS Prayer Model
The ACTS prayer acronym stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
These four steps are the perfect guide for your daily prayers and can be a great starting point when you’re not sure how to pray.
The great thing about these prayers is that by memorizing the term “ACTS”, you can pray these prayers anywhere.
These simple prayers are powerful and effective for new believers as well as those who have been walking with Christ for decades. Let’s look at each of the four parts of the ACTS acronym.
- A: Adoration
- C: Confession
- T: Thanksgiving
- S: Supplication
How to Pray Using the ACTS Prayer Model
Now, let’s take a closer look at each part of this prayer model and learn how to use the acronym to guide our prayers.
We’ll also examine the biblical foundation for each of these four steps by seeing what the Word of God says about each step.
Praying the ACTS method can transform your relationship with God, ignite your prayers with power, and transform your heart.
God wants your prayer time to shape your life and lead to transformation to the image of Christ Jesus.
Let’s look at each of the four steps and talk about the easiest way to pray using this powerful method.
The first step is to begin by focusing on God’s goodness. The adoration of God is a powerful place to start because we are empowered by fixing our eyes on God instead of fixing our eyes on our circumstances.
Most of us are tempted to begin our times of prayer by looking at what we need; instead, looking toward God’s glorious presence shifts our focus in a powerful way.
We begin by adoring God because this is a simple way to connect with him relationally and also focus our minds on the heavenly realm.
God’s presence is always with us; however, lifting our eyes to his glorious attributes helps us to become more connected with his presence.
You might begin by naming some of God’s attributes or closing your eyes and imagining him as he sits on his heavenly throne, as described in Revelation 4.
The key to this step is to focus on the glory, wonder, purity, goodness, and holiness of God.
As the Word of God reminds us:
“Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!” (Psalm 96:9, ESV).
Adoration also involves posturing our hearts to worship God. When we begin times of prayer with worshipful hearts, we position ourselves for God to work mightily through us.
After adoring God and focusing on his glory, our hearts are ready for confession.
Confession is the act of examining our lives to see where we have fallen short of God’s perfect standards in our words, attitudes, or actions.
As you move into this part of your prayer time, begin your time of confession by praying as King David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Ask God to search your heart and show you if you have offended him in any way. God wants to show you where you have fallen short because he wants to help you live a life of peace and abundance.
Confession is not a time to condemn yourself or feel ashamed of sinning against God.
Instead, mentally review the past day. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, notice any moments when your words, attitudes, or actions were not honoring to God.
When you notice these moments, confess them to God.
Tell him you are sorry, ask him to change your heart, and ask him to help you turn away from your sin and turn toward him with a repentant heart. Then, receive God’s forgiveness.
He wants you to step into your day with a clean conscience and a clean heart. As Scripture promises,
“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).
God promises to forgive those who confess their sins. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, your sins are washed as white as snow. God’s forgiveness knows no limits in Christ Jesus.
After confessing our sins, we transition into a time of thanksgiving. Giving thanks is the best way to respond to God’s forgiveness, and gratitude is also the perfect way to soak in God’s goodness.
Studies show that gratitude actually opens new neuropathways that help us connect relationally with God and others.
During your time of thanksgiving, consider writing in your journal and listing several gifts from the previous day.
These might be simple blessings, such as hugs from friends, warm meals, freshly fallen snow, hot coffee, or smiles from precious children.
Don’t get caught up on naming the “perfect gifts;” instead, list these gifts as they come to mind.
If you don’t use a journal during your prayer time, ask God to fill your mind with thoughts about his blessings in your life.
Imagine these blessings passing across your mind, one at a time, and savor each gift as it passes by.
For example, you might envision your children, grandchildren, friends, and pets parading through your mind as you give thanks to God.
If you prefer structure during your prayer time, write down five gifts from the previous day every morning.
Offering thanks before making supplications follows the biblical model offered in Philippians 4:6, which reads,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
For example, list a moment, a person, a surprise, a kind word spoken, and a time when God intervened in your day. The key is to give thanks in a way that feels life-giving to you.
Finally, supplication refers to praying for our personal needs as well as the needs of others.
During this time of offering our prayer requests to God, it’s important to listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction in addition to naming requests.
Remember that God already knows all of your needs and the needs of those in your life. He wants you to make supplication because he wants to draw near to you in a loving, dependent relationship.
As you lift requests to him, spiritual forces respond to your prayers in the heavenly realms.
One way to be consistent about praying for the people you care about is to create prayer lists to use during the supplication time of prayer.
In the front of your prayer journal or on a piece of paper, write the names of a few people in your inner circle for whom you want to pray daily.
Then, create a prayer list for each day of the week and add a few names of people to pray for under each daily heading.
As the Apostle Paul reminds us,
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV).
During your daily supplication time, pray for any pressing personal needs. Your prayer list can help you consistently pray for the people you care about as well.
ACTS Prayer Model Example
Let’s now take a closer look at the ACTS method of prayer by examining a sample prayer for each of the four categories.
These sample prayers can guide you as you seek the Lord and aim to cultivate a closer relationship with him.
“O Lord, you are always good and always loving. Thank you for your great love for me and for caring about every detail of my life. Nothing is too hard for you, and you are perfect, holy, and glorious. I worship you and adore you with all of my being. Amen.”
“Dear God, search my heart and show me if I have offended you or fallen short of your standards in any way. I confess my sins of ____________(name any specific sins God brings to mind after asking him to search your heart). I receive your forgiveness through Jesus Christ and commit to turning the other way in repentance. Empower me to honor you with my words, attitudes, and actions as I aim to live a holy and pure life. Amen.”
“Lord God, thank you for filling my life with your goodness. Even on the darkest days, your gifts surround me. Today, I thank you for the gift of my life, the gift of your love for me, a home in which to live, and the many blessings surrounding me. I also thank you for ______, _______, and _______ (specifically name at least three gifts). Thank you for providing for me and guiding me, Father. Amen.”
“Father God, thank you that you care about everything that is troubling me today. I ask you to intervene in the following situation:____________(name a situation that feels like a burden to you). I also ask you to move in the lives of my loved ones (consider naming some loved ones from your prayer list). Fill these loved ones with your presence, reveal yourself to them, and work in their lives for their good and your glory. Amen.”
These four ACTS of prayer can transform your prayer life.
By praying the ACTS model daily or using it when your prayer life feels dry, you can align yourself with God’s heart as you pray for him to move in your life.
Related: War Room Prayer for Spiritual Battle
A prayer journal can help you pray using this method as well.
Consider writing each of your four prayers in your journal daily. In time, you will be able to return to the journal and see where God responded by answering your prayers.
Lastly, remember that prayer isn’t about following a formula. The ACTS method is simply a way to help you connect with God in ways that fill and refresh your soul.
While you pray through the steps listed above, focus on connecting with the heart of the Father. If this happens, God will use this method to transform your life.
If you are new to prayer, here are some additional prayer methods you might want to try.