In the acronym ACTS, each letter stands for a different form of prayer.
A – Adoration and Praise
C – Confession of Sin
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication and Intercession
Adoration and Praise
We begin with Adoration and Praise in order to first focus on God — who He is, His character and attributes — instead of our own wants and needs. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
We read and meditate on scripture that shows us who God is and we are able to focus on Him, His power and His holiness as we come into His presence. Scripture is God’s perfect word and we can pray His word right back to Him in giving Him praise, adoration and glory. What more perfect prayer could there be than God’s own words?
One example is I Chronicles 29:11-13: “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name.”
Next, take some time to confess your sins. Isaiah 59:2 says But your iniquities have separated you from God, your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Let His Holy Spirit bring to mind sins that needs to be confessed, and name it specifically. Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 32:3-5: When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hands was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then, I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” — and You forgave the guilt of my sin.
Repent, and thank God for His forgiveness. I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrightousness. Psalm 103:8-12: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
This time is used in giving thanks to God for whatever comes to mind for you — answered prayers, family, home, etc. Psalm 100:4 says Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. Colossians 2:6-7 says So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
And, as hard as it can be to do, we also thank God for trials and difficult areas of our lives, trusting that…in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.(Romans 8:28)
I Thessalonians 5:18 says that it is God’s will that we give thanks in all circumstances.
He reassures us in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Supplication and Intercession
During this last portion of prayer time we present our requests to God. Ask for God’s will in all situations. He sees the “big picture” and knows what is best for our lives, what is for our ultimate good. I John 5:14-15 says This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of Him.
Ask also in faith. Trust that He will answer, whether with a “yes,” “no” or “wait.” Hebrews chapter 11 cites many examples of people who lived by faith and trust in God, knowing He would keep His promises to them, fulfilling His promises by His perfect will, in His perfect timing. Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
I Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. Psalm 55:22 says to cast our burdens upon the Lord and he will sustain us. Lift all your requests up to Him, and by faith and trust put them all in His hands to work His perfect will.
You may wish to choose one characteristic of God’s nature from the column on the left. Then read and meditate on one or all related scripture verses, and give God glory, adoration and praise in prayer for that aspect of His character.
|Greatness & Majesty||I Chronicles 29:11-13, Isaiah 40:12-26
Psalm 145:1-7, Ephesians 1:20-23
|Beauty & Desirability|| Psalm 36:7-9, Psalm 61:1-4
Psalm 63:1-5, Psalm 73:25,26
|Ability & Power|| Psalm 33:6-9, Ephesians 1:19-21
Psalm 135:5,6, Ephesians 3:20
|Love & Compassion|| I John 4:9, 10, Romans 5:1-8
Romans 8:35-39, Isaiah 54:10
|Holiness & Perfection|| Exodus 15:11, Deuteronomy 32:4
Isaiah 6:1-3, Isaiah 57:15
|Total Forgiveness|| I Peter 2:24, I Peter 3:18, 19
Psalm 103: 8-12, Isaiah 53:5
|Goodness & Generosity|| Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 145:7-9
Psalm 103:1-5, Romans 8:28-32
|Sovereignty|| Daniel 2:20-22, Daniel 4:34b
Psalm 33:9-11, Romans 8:28
|Faithfulness & Dependability|| Lamentations 3:22,23,
Psalm 89:1,2, II Thessalonians 3:3
|Worthiness & Glory|| Revelation 4:8-11, Jeremiah 10:6,7
Revelation 5:12-14, Psalm 100
|For unbelievers||Ephesians 3:14-21|
|A closer walk with Jesus||Ephesians 1:17,18|
|A sense of God’s presence||Psalm 139:1-6|
|Desire to study God’s word||Proverbs 2:1-6|
|Desire to pray||Ephesians 6:18|
|Christ centered homes||Romans 15:5,6|
|Healthy marriages||I Thessalonians 3:12,13|
|Spiritual health||Colossians 1:9-12|
|For our Pastors||Philemon 4-7|
|For our church leaders||Philippians 1:2-6|
|Desire to serve our church||Romans 12:1-13|
|Desire to come to church||Psalm 122:1|
|Encouraging one another||Hebrews 10:24,25|
|Teaching children about God||Deuteronomy 6:4-9|
|Spiritual warfare||Ephesians 6:10-18|
|Love||I Corinthians 13:4-7|
|Physical health||3 John 2|
|Looking to God for strength||Isaiah 40:28-31|
|Government Leaders||I Timothy 2:1-3|
|When in sorrow||Psalm 34:8, 18, 19|
|When worried||Matthew 6: 25-34|
|When in danger||Psalm 18:1-3, Psalm 91:11|
|During trying times||Romans 5:1-5|