Pray in A.C.T.S.
Talking to God is vital to our Christian life – after all, being a Christian is defined by our relationship with Him. Philippians 4:6-7 instruct us: ‘With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel’ (CEV). But it can be hard to get our mindset about prayer right. An old acronym to shape our conversations with God, especially to avoid ‘shopping list’ prayers, is A.C.T.S – adoration, confession, thanks, and supplication. 1) Begin with adoration. The idea is that every conversation with God should start with us recognising who He is. It really can change our outlook to briefly put aside what we need, and even praise for what God has done, to focus on His incredible personality. What God does in the world is different in different situations, but His love for us, and the person He is, never changes. That’s why we focus on that first. 2) Second, confess. Once we’ve reminded ourselves of the loving, forgiving personality of God, we should spend time working through our wrongs with Him, and step into His forgiveness. 3) Then, give thanks. This is the time to thank God for the things that He’s done, is doing, and will do, and recognise specific things that we have to be grateful for. 4) Finally, comes supplication, the idea of making a request to God. Once we’ve got our perspective right, then we can bring the things on our heart before God, sharing what we need, want, and care about. We may even find that our requests start to align with God’s heart once we’ve adored and thanked Him, and confronted our wrongdoing first.
Set aside some time to pray, using the A.C.T.S. acronym to shape how you talk to God.
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