Character 5: Four Acts of Prayer

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 5 Comments

Here is a simple way to bring balance and structure to your prayer life: the ACTS method. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Adoration. Worshipping God for who he is. “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his holy name” (Psalm 29:2).

Confession. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9).

Thanksgiving. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Supplication (petitions). “In every situation, by prayer and petition . . . present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

I find this simple liturgy to be a helpful corrective to merely asking God for things — or failing to ask.

I wouldn’t want the ACTS method to become a new law to obey. Rather, my hope is that you’ll find freedom and grace inside a simple structure.

***

Which parts of prayer do you focus on most?

Which parts, if any, do you tend to neglect?

Quite a few years ago my friend Paul Manson taught me the ACTS method, which I’ve revived of late.

Comments 5

  1. Erik, I hope so! ACTS is certainly not original with me.

    Marta, I'm familiar with my own tired brain. ACTS simply tells me what to do; I don't have to invent anything. I'd found myself neglecting Adoration lately, which is what took me back to ACTS this summer.

  2. I love using ACTS for prayer! It's been my structure for many years. I think Dennis Dudley was the first to teach this to me. I appreciate that it starts with adoration. I'm more inclines to start with groveling or my needs or even thanksgiving, but adoration helps me to draw near to God and see him more clearly before I move onto other things we need to talk about. The analogy can only go so far, but it's kind of like taking time to greet my husband with a warm hug before launching into conversation.

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