HomeWord - July 16, 2009

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The Power of A.C.T.S.
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." 
—Luke 11:1

Within the first few months after I dedicated my life to Jesus, I was told that I needed to pray. I had never been taught to pray as a younger person. I had been attending a church where all the prayers were printed in books and recited only in worship experiences by a man in the front of the church, who wore a robe. It was my impression that only trained people knew how to really pray and that if I prayed at all, I had to find a book to use.

No one had ever taken the time to explain prayer to me. That was soon to become a problem when my youth pastor asked me one night at a Bible study, “Robin, why don’t you pray for us?” I went into shock. Shock, however, is not what God has in mind for His followers when it comes to prayer!

In God’s eyes, there is no off-limits to prayer. As Christ-followers, we have been given “bold access” to God. When it comes to prayer, God has given us an open door to pray in any and all ways possible. When I was 17-years-old, I learned a great model for praying that I still find helpful today. It revolutionized my life and still guides me as I come into deeper relationship with God through prayer. It’s called A.C.T.S. and I hope you too, will find it helpful in your own prayer life.

Adoration – All prayer should include worship. Begin with the phrase, "I love (or adore) You, God, because You are… " The goal is to focus on an attribute of God. "Praise Him for who He is, not what He does," I remind myself.  We can always find words of adoration in the Psalms.

Confession – We need to remember that we are broken and need healing. Take time in prayer to say, "Lord, please forgive me for…" or "I’m sorry I… " Be as specific as possible. Think back over the day to a time when you did wrong or were disobedient. Confession keeps us humble before God.

Thanksgiving - Teach yourself this important aspect of prayer: thanking God. You can thank God for the good things that have happened during the day or for special people in your life.

Supplication – This is what we most often do during prayer, asking God for “things.” Divide this category into two parts: praying for others and praying for yourself.

GOING DEEPER:  

Try the A.C.T.S. method out for a week. See how this method works for your prayer life.

FURTHER READING: 
Luke 11:1-13; Psalm 150; Psalm 51

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