At Eagle’s Landing, we believe that prayer is the lifeblood of every disciple of Christ and that it is essential to our Spiritual health. But let’s face it, a consistent prayer life is hard. We have more things vying for our attention and focus than ever before and it seems like we’re busier than we’ve ever been. Because of this, it’s easy to fall into a shallow prayer life that only happens when things in our life aren’t going the way we planned. So how can we avoid this and cultivate a life of prayer that can be built into the rhythms of our every day?
When I struggle to know how to pray or what to pray for, I find it helpful to follow a guide. Modeled after Jesus’ example prayer in Matthew 6 (referred to as the Lord’s Prayer), the A.C.T.S prayer method is a great tool to help keep you engaged in prayer and communion with our Lord. This acronym highlights four key aspects of Jesus’ teaching on prayer.
Begin your prayer time adoring God. This is different than thanksgiving. Praise God for who he is. Remind your heart of who he is. It may be helpful to write down the attributes and promises of God found in Scripture as you praise him.
Examples of Adoration in Scripture: Psalm 100:5; 34:1-9; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Admit and confess your sin to God so your prayers will not be hindered. Avoid being general about sin. As you confess over time, your confession will get more and more specific. This may lead you to confess your sin to a brother or sister in Christ as instructed in Scripture.
Examples of Confession in Scripture: Psalm 32:3-5; 1 John 1:8-9; James 5:16; Psalm 51
We always have reason to be thankful, even with the hard things present in our lives. As we pray, God will use our gratefulness to change our perspective. Spend time thanking God for what he has done for you in Christ and all the ways he has provided for you.
Examples of Thanksgiving in Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 103:1-6; 9:1-2
Finally, let your requests be made known to God. Let God’s Word guide you in this. Authentically pour out your heart before the Lord and ask him for whatever is pressing in your life or the lives of others.
Examples of Supplication in Scripture: Philippians 4:8; John 14:13-14; 15:7; Psalm 84:11; Matthew 7:7-12