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ACTS of Prayer

(The following is the January 24 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Matthew 20 and pay close attention to verses 29-34.)

How specific are you in prayer? It is best to be detailed. For example, using “ACTS” as a memory device and organizing structure can help us be thorough and specific in prayer:

  • A = Adoration. Praise God for who he is, his holiness, character, and attributes.

  • C = Confession. Admit specific sins you committed and sins of omission where you failed to do what you should.

  • T = Thanksgiving. List as many of the Lord's blessings as you can recall. Thank him for his presence, lessons learned in difficult times, and prayers answered.

  • S = Supplication. Pray for specific needs and situations for yourself, others, communities, churches, the lost, missions, relationships, ministries, leaders, the sick, etc.

When Jesus encountered two blind men as he left Jericho, the men yelled, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” (v. 31). Jesus knew they were blind. He knew what they needed physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Still, Jesus asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (v. 32). They replied, “Lord, open our eyes” (v. 33). Their request demonstrated faith that Jesus had the power to do what only God could do. They could have asked for money or something temporary and less dramatic, but they did not. They asked specifically for a cure for what most significantly hindered their daily lives – blindness. Jesus, moved with compassion, restored their sight.

If we hear someone say, “Help me,” we may reasonably ask, “What do you need?” So let us avoid imprecise “Help me” prayers and say what is on our hearts. He expects us to answer the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” When we do, God ACTS.

Next Step:

Spend time with God using the ACTS prayer structure. Be specific in each portion – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. If you are not already in the habit, create prayer lists for regular use.

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