THOUGHTS

SHORT, THOUGHT PROVOKING ARTICLES PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY.

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

A.C.T.S.

The title of this short lesson may lead one to believe that it is regarding the Book of Acts; however, that is not the case at all. Every Christian, everywhere, will all their journey seek to find acceptable prayer lives. Prayers that embody the very nature of our Lord when He was here on earth (Luke 6:12).

The New Testament is bursting with instruction about prayer, as the Spirit of God instructs (Romans 8:26). There are; however, many things that come from other Christians, as they have learned from God’s word, which can be helpful in developing our prayer lives. These reminders of the properties of prayer can build a repetitive practice that is much more comprehensive and healthy (as the more we pray, and the more it is God’s will, the better for us all – 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 John 5:14).

Here is a little something I have come across that may help in this fashion:

A Helpful hint in learning to Pray is “A-C-T-S”

A = Adoration.

Praising God. A good example of this is found in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (READ). Spending time in sincere praise of God's greatness will help put us in the proper spirit of humility.

C = Confession.

Acknowledging our sins before God. When we understand how sin can break the fellowship we have with God, we naturally desire its quick remission. There are two primary hindrances to effective prayer – unconfessed sins, and hatred in our hearts for others (see – Matthew 6:12). As Christians we can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus as we confess our sins – 1 John 1:7-9.

T = Thanksgiving.

This is an important part of prayer, even those in which we are making requests – Philippians 4:6. The benefits of giving thanks are many:

1) Causes us to acknowledge God's existence, love, and care.

2) Reminds us of His goodness.

3) Helps to shift our focus from what we don't have to what we do have.

The kind of things to be thankful for: Things we can see in our lives…., health, family and friends, God's guidance, answers to previous prayers.

Things we may not be able to see…., our adoptions as His Children, the forgiveness of sins, the hope of eternal life, the assurance of His continued presence.

God's people have every reason to be thankful, and to be known for “abounding in thanksgiving” – Colossians 1:12; 2:7; 3:15; 4:2.

S = Supplication.

Making requests of God – Philippians 4:6. If we are faithful in including the first three (adoration, confession, thanksgiving), this last will prevent prayer from being simply a spiritual “shopping list”.

When we broaden our requests to include others, we enter into one of the noblest realms of prayer: intercession.

1) Something which God wants us to do – 1 Timothy 2:1.  

Examples of whom we can pray for are given in the next section….

Self.

For physical daily needs – Matthew 6:11. For personal growth in Christ-likeness and devotion to God – Colossians 1:9-12.

Family

For spouse, children, parents, and siblings. For their nurture and growth in the teaching of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4.

Community.

For peace to prevail. For my role in living a godly life to show a better way – 1 Peter 3:15; 4:3-4.

Church.

For love and unity to prevail – John 13:35; 17:20-21. For the spiritual growth of each member – Philippians 1:9-11. For the gospel to have free course - 2 Thessalonians 3:1.

Nation.

For national repentance and consciousness of who God is – Psalms 33:12; Proverbs 14:34. For leaders to rule wisely 1 Timothy 2:2.

Nonbelievers.

For their salvation – Romans 1:16; 1 Timothy 2:4. For the effort of those involved in teaching them. – Ephesians 6:18-20.

The sick.

For their restoration to health James 5:14-15. For spiritual strength and peace of mind – James 5:16.

The poor and oppressed.

Such as the homeless, fatherless, unborn children – Proverbs 29:7. Those in other nations oppressed by their own rulers or outside influences.

This is not the end-all in the continued growth in the prayer life of a Christian. It is simply a comprehensive and easy way to remember many of the properties of Spirit instructed prayer. Let us all A.C.T.S. without ceasing!