This post is by Cheli Sigler.
Above all, worship is a giving of our whole selves to God— heart, mind, soul, and body. Because of Christ’s mercy, we don’t hold anything back. Emphasizing this, the apostle Paul pleads in Romans 12:1:
“. . . present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Whenever we think of worship, it is easy to forget this holistic view. One activity that encourages a giving of my whole self to God is prayer.
As a young Christian I was often frustrated during prayer because I struggled with distraction. My struggle with prayer continued into adulthood until I was introduced to the ACTS prayer model (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). Like other model prayers (e.g., the Lord’s Prayer) it serves as a prayer tutor, keeping me on track and mindful of the Lord’s will while I pray.
Not perfect, I continue building consistency into my prayer life, and as I persevere in prayer I am experiencing more of God’s real presence in my life. As I practice it, prayer tunes my heart and mind to the Holy Spirit, creates God-focus, readies my heart for worship, and prepares me to receive and apply what I read in God’s Word. The ACTS model helps me feel close to God and effective in praying for others.
Here’s how the ACTS model works.
I begin my prayer by saying, “God, you are….” Adoration is worship. It is affirming who God is. Spend a few moments completing that sentence with as many names and attributes for God as you can or can allot time. Need help getting started? Check out these verses:
This is where I tell God, “I’m sorry.” As much as God hates our sin, He loves it when we turn to Him, acknowledge our sin, and ask for forgiveness. Here are some verses to encourage you as you confess your sin:
When confession is done and God’s forgiveness begins to wash over me, thanksgiving flows: “Thank you, God, for ….” There are so many things for which to be thankful. Let them flow with abandon. Need some help with the words? Try these verses of thanksgiving:
Now it is time to lay before the Lord personal requests and intercessory prayer: “God, please….” The Greek word for “supplication” is deēsis, meaning “a request.” The Bible teaches us to take our requests to the Lord. Physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are all welcome; there’s nothing God can’t handle. Here are some helpful scriptures:
In conclusion, using a model prayer like the ACTS model has strengthened my prayer life and brought me closer to Jesus. Remember, this is only one model, and it is only a tool. The more of myself, the more “spiritual worship,” I pour into prayer, the more of Christ I experience and receive.
Cheli Sigler pursues her God-given purpose of teaching from her home base in sunny Orlando, FL where she and her husband, Matt, raise two teenage daughters. She is involved in Hello Mornings as a group leader mentor and writer. Inviting people to sharpen their minds and soften their hearts for God’s purpose and the world, Cheli shares ideas and resources on her blog, Sharpen to Soften.
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