What follows below is an introduction of the ACTS Method for prayer, a simple, four-step approach used by many churches and Christians to organize their prayers. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. When Gathering One2One for prayer, you simply take turns, each praying a prayer of adoration, then each praying a prayer of confession, and so on.
(e.g. 1 Chr. 29:10-12; Ps. 148, 150)
Our prayers of adoration are prayers of worship and praise for who and what God is and what he has done. They recount and magnify God’s nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and they marvel at God’s mighty work—in the Bible, and in one’s own life. They glorify God for his attributes, praising him for his power, sovereignty, knowledge, goodness, and so on.
(e.g. Ps. 51; Neh. 1:4-11; Jas. 5:16; 1 Jn. 1:8-10)
Our prayers of confession look inward, admitting our sins and our failures to God and casting them before him so that he might forgive us and heal us. We admit to God things we’ve done that we shouldn’t have, things we didn’t do that we should have, and ways we have failed to love God as we should or loved others as ourselves. We ask our Father, who disciplines his children, to forgive us and make us holy.
(e.g. Ps. 118, 136; Eph. 1:15-23)
Our prayers of thanksgiving express our gratitude for what God has done for us, personally. We remember specific ways in which God has provided for us recently and long ago. When we thank God we “count our blessings” in his presence and tell him how grateful we are. In doing these things we realize what we are in our lives now, with God’s help, and what we would be without him.
(e.g. Matt. 6:9-13; Jn. 17; Phil. 4:16)
Our prayers of supplication ask God for help or blessings. We admit how needy we are for God’s help and how utterly lost and helpless we would be without him. We bring cares, concerns, and needs before God’s throne and lay them there, asking for his kindness and mercy in dealing with them.