Have you ever felt distracted in your daily prayer time or that the words wouldn’t come as you tried to pray? Do you long to pray bold, war room prayers and make your morning prayer time an anchor in your life? Discover how the ACTS prayer model is a simple, but effective way to ignite a habit of prayer in your life (no experience required!)
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The best prayer model in Scripture
When I read the prayers of Jesus in the Bible, I’m amazed at His deep connection with His Heavenly Father.
From the Lord’s prayer to the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed powerful prayers that included worship, thanksgiving, and supplication for the needs of others.
Jesus had an intimate relationship with God. He knew that God is a loving Father Who longs to hear from His children.
But God the Father doesn’t only want to hear from Jesus. He wants to hear from you and I, too.
Prayer is our opportunity to communicate with God every day. Just the thought of talking to the all-powerful God can seem overwhelming, and you might be confused about where to start.
There are many different ways to pray. There’s not necessarily a right way and a wrong way. But Jesus gave us a perfect guide to pray meaningful, powerful prayers to God.
We can follow Jesus’ example, and develop a prayer life that honors God.
When you want a simple guide to help you get started, or you want to create a more focused prayer life, the ACTS prayer example is a powerful way to talk to your Heavenly Father every day.
What is the ACTS Prayer Model?
The ACTS prayer method doesn’t refer to the book in the Bible or even actions you take. Instead, it is a simple acronym you can follow to guide your daily prayer life.
It’s a flow to your prayer time that helps you reap the maximum benefits because you’re focused on more than just sharing your prayer requests to the Lord.
The ACTS prayer acronym stands for:
But even though the ACTS acronym seems like a simple way to pray, it’s actually powerful and effective. Using the ACTS prayer method allows us to connect deeply with God in a focused, concentrated way.
If you’ve ever knelt down to pray and weren’t sure where to begin, using this prayer model will give you the direction you crave.
In the adoration portion of the prayer, we take time to worship God for Who He is. When we adore God, we focus on Who He is instead of what He’s done.
During this portion of the prayer method, we might praise God because He is holy, powerful, kind, gracious, or loving. Choose any of His attributes and praise Him for being so good!
The Bible tells us that our sins separate us from God so that He cannot hear our prayers.
Before we can bring our needs and desires to Him, we must first be willing to offer a confession of our sins. You may have particular sins you have committed that you know need to be forgiven. Or, you may need to offer a more general confession and repentance for sins you may have committed unknowingly.
The most important thing is to have a clean slate between you and your Heavenly Father.
Plus, this helps you let go of guilt and shame, as you release your short comings at the foot of the cross. Daily confession acknowledges God’s power and your desperate need for a Savior.
When we arrive at the thanksgiving part of the ACTS prayer, we thank God for what He has done. This is different from adoration, as each person has very specific blessings from God.
He loves to hear us offer thanksgiving for His steadfast character and faithfulness to His children.
In fact, Philippians 4:6 says that all of our requests to God should be made with thanksgiving!
Take this opportunity to be grateful for what God has done for you, whether it’s physical or spiritual blessings. The book of James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God.
Reflecting on God’s blessings and goodness will help you keep the Lord at the center of your life.
When we think of prayer, we often think of asking God for things–or supplication. But supplication should be only one of the aspects of prayer.
Truthfully, prayers that include only supplications are “me-centered.” (Ouch! I know that stings!)
But in order to cultivate a rich prayer life, our goal should be to pray “God-centered” prayers that focus on Him, Who He is, and what He’s done for us.
However, Scripture reminds us that God wants to carry our burdens and hears our cries for help.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
For this part of the ACTS prayer method, we bring our prayer requests to God. Whether it’s to share your own personal burdens or pray intercessory prayers on behalf of others, God wants you to bring all of your needs to Him.
Nothing is too small to pray about or bring before the Lord!
Benefits of Praying with the ACTS Prayer Method
Some worry that using a prayer model might make prayers seem stilted, or inauthentic.
However, the opposite is true!
In the Bible, Jesus’ disciples asked Him to show them how to pray. He gave them a sample prayer to use as an example to follow.
He didn’t expect them to repeat those words exactly every time they prayed. Instead, it was a model.
Using the ACTS method of prayer is a simple example with several benefits.
Feel confident in your prayers.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:16 that we can come boldly to the throne of grace. God is a loving Father, and we don’t need to be afraid to come to Him.
Having a prayer model to follow is the perfect way to gain confidence as you experience daily prayer time with God.
The ACTS prayer method is especially helpful for new believers who feel excited but nervous about prayer.
Keep your focus on God.
If you’ve ever tried to have a few quiet moments with God, you know there’s always something trying to distract you.
Using prayer guides can help your mind not to wander, and help you focus on the Holy Spirit and His work in your heart.
Have a well-rounded prayer life.
We tend to get a little me-focused, even in prayer. If we aren’t careful, our prayers can become selfish, and we only ask God for things without ever thanking Him.
When we pray, we are communicating with the Creator of the universe. Even our simple prayers should be an expression of love and respect for Him.
The ACTS model of prayer will help you remember that prayer is not a wish list as you give Him the honor He is due.
ACTS Prayer Compared to the Lord’s Prayer
Is the ACTS prayer model actually mentioned in the Bible?
Not exactly, but we can see an example of the ACTS prayer method in the Lord’s Prayer.
In Luke 11:1, the disciples of Jesus asked Him to teach them how to pray.
What follows is a beautiful and powerful prayer example that has been repeated for two thousand years.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
We see Jesus’ words of adoration for His Father because He began His prayer with worship. The word hallowed means, “holy; consecrated.”
He opened His prayer offering honor to God for Who He is–holy.
Jesus also included a confession of sins in His model prayer. We should ask for God’s forgiveness, but we must also be willing to forgive others.
In the last part of Jesus’ prayer, He makes supplication, by asking God to meet His needs.
ACTS Prayer Prompts
Ready to start using the acronym ACTS for your daily prayers, but not sure where to start?
Using these prompts is a great way to use the ACTS method in your own prayers.
Praying the characteristics of God is the perfect way to show adoration in your prayers.
- God, You are always faithful and true, even when I fail you.
- O God, You are just and punish sin as required, but You are also merciful and give grace to the undeserving.
- You are full of compassion and love.
- Lord Jesus, You are gracious and kind. You bless me, even when I am unworthy of Your love.
- God, You are the mighty Creator, Maker of Heaven and Earth. You give us good gifts every day just to show us Your love and glory.
- Jesus, You are my Savior. You came to me when I was lost in sin, and made me Your child. My life was eternally changed by Your love and grace.
- O Lord, You are the eternal King, ruling and reigning over every part of the world.
- Dear God, You are an awesome God, so full of power and glory, yet you long to hear from Your people.
Confession Prayer Prompts
Confession is one of the most important elements of prayer, and it’s more than just saying “I’m sorry.” True confession requires you to dig a little deeper.
Sometimes it’s little things that get into your heart, and separate you from your Heavenly Father.
Repenting of our sins requires us to fully admit that we have sinned. And that required naming our sins.
When you take time to see your sin how God sees it, your perspective changes.
Here are a few prayer prompts you can use to get you started.
- My biggest struggle is…
- Father, I battle anger when…
- I am selfish when…
- God, I struggle with pride am when…
- Lord, my wandering heart strays from you when…
- I make _____ an idol over God…
- My daily struggles, especially _____, rob me of my joy when___ ..
- Father, I lost my temper today when…
- I disobeyed God by…
Thanksgiving Prayer Prompts
Thanksgiving might be the best part of the prayer method! Taking time to thank God for all the good things and good times in your life can instantly lift your mood and improve your day.
Sometimes life is hard, and giving thanks is hard. Thanksgiving is even more important.
When you want to remind yourself of all the wonderful things God has done for you, here are a few prompts to direct you:
- Dear God, thank You for Your grace that You pour into my life each day.
- Jesus, thank you for the comfort you offer me every day. Whether it’s through God’s Word or the people You have put in my life, You see when I am hurting and You calm my anxious heart.
- Dear Lord, sometimes my life is full of chaos, but you speak peace into my heart. I can rest in You, even when I’m stressed and everything around me is out of control. Thank you for being a safe place for me to run.
- God, thank you for giving me hope when life seems hopeless. No matter how bleak things seem here on the earth, I have a glorious hope of eternal life with You.
- Dear Jesus, I am forever grateful for God’s presence in my life. You are always here with me in my time of need. You see me and love me even when I fail You.
- Thank You, God, for Your steadfast love that has followed me through my life. You loved me before I knew You. Thank You, Jesus, for living out true love and dying for me on the cross.
- Lord, thank you for protecting me from dangers that I can and can’t see. I know that Your protective hand is on me and You have safely brought me where I am and I am grateful
- God, You have been so good to me. It would take me all day to name every blessing You have given me. Today, I am particularly grateful for…
Supplication Prayer Prompts
There are so many needs we have in our lives. We often hear prayer requests from family, friends, and fellow church members that break our hearts.
How wonderful to know that we have a Heavenly Father Who listens to and cares about all of the things that bother us.
When you reach the supplication part of your ACTS prayer, you might want to consider these ideas:
- God, help me to grow spiritually and seek you for wisdom, especially in the area of___…
- Father, give me courage to share the Gospel boldly, even when it feels uncomfortable. I am praying salvation for… _____
- God, help me to steward my life well and make my life count to bring you honor and glory…
- Lord, help me live with intention and be a woman who walks with you. I am struggling in the following area____…
- Create in me a humble heart that serves others joyfully, especially in the area of_____…
- God, strengthen my marriage and may you be the cornerstone of our relationship…
- Father, fill me with your joy, even in times of suffering…
- Give me a diligent spirit to study the Bible and the ability to apply it to my life….
- Father, help me have a strong prayer life and help me release my burdens to you and trust you wholeheartedly…
- God, guide the path of my children and give them a heart to follow you…
- I pray for health and healing of those who are battling illness. I’m burdened for healing of ____…
- Lord, may your Gospel spread like wildfire in a lost and hurting world. May revival spread in the area of_____….
- Father, be glorified in my deeds and actions, especially in ____…
- God, I pray for world and government leaders. May they turn to you, repent, and proclaim your goodness in all the land.
Your next steps to using the ACTS prayer model
Download the free ACTS prayer prompts here as an easy prayer model to help you draw near to the Lord.
Then, if you don’t have a time already, set aside a time to make a daily prayer a priority. Start small and watch how the Lord helps you make time with Him a reality.
No matter what, trust that God will meet you in your time with Him and longs to hear from you. Time in prayer is water for a dry spirit and will refresh your weary soul in a powerful way!