ACTS Prayer Explanation

ACTS PRAYER -- What it is and how to incorporate into your prayer time🙏

ACTS is an acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  It is simply a method of prayer intended to help grow your repertoire of ways to connect with God. It incorporates 4 elements of our communication with God (mostly on the us talking to Him part...we'll get to listening later on, which is also essential).  ACTS is certainly not the only or the best way to pray, but a recommended way to get the ball rolling in your prayer time....You might consider starting out your prayer time with 3-5 minutes total of ACTS.

Here's a fleshed out explanation of the ACTS Prayer Method:

  • A = Adoration: Essentially these exclamations of praise and adoration, help us to come into God's presence, to remember Who it is we are talking to and seeking communion with--Our God who is Love.  This is a time to praise God for His attributes, as if you were affirming a human person for their wonderful qualities.  Think on Who God is and let Your heart really come into appreciation for Him and praise Him out loud or in your heart. You might even turn to the many names of God you find throughout the Scripture to address and praise Him.  This is unique and differentiated from Thanksgiving, which comes later on. Adoration might be the most awkward feeling at first, but as you practice you will find it helps you posture your heart and come into greater appreciation of the Lord and sets you up for deeper encounters with Him. 
    • Adoration Examples: 
      • "Lord, You are Emmanuel--God with us."
      • “I praise You, God, for you are holy, You are mighty, You are beautiful and compassionate!"  
      • "Lord, You are the Maker of the Universe, every galaxy and all the vast beauty of the stars and the planets. And, You are the One who knit me together in my mother's womb."
      • "Praise You, Jesus, You love us so much You died for us."
      • "Lord, You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  My beginning and end."
      • "Praise, You, Father, for Your goodness--you are giver of all good things."
      • "Lord You are majestic, high above it all, Your ways are not our ways. You are worthy of all praise!"
      • "You are the God of angel armies and the angels in Heaven sing constantly before Your throne, "Holy, holy, holy!""
      • "Glory to You, Holy Spirit! You are eternal, all powerful God, and You come to dwell inside me!"

  • C = Contrition/Confession: Now that we have acknowledged with our heart and mind who God is, we acknowledge who we are and where we have fallen short--confessing not only our sins, but our need for God to empower us to transform.  And, since we praised His might, power, mercy and compassion first, we're now in a space where the confession doesn't feel heavy, but rather is a burden taken off our shoulders and laid to rest at Jesus' feet.  
    • Confession Examples: 
      • “Lord, I’m sorry for the times I haven’t been obedient to what You’ve asked me to do.”
      • "I’m sorry, Jesus for not speaking kindly to my wife and kids, please help me to do better next time (or ask Him, how can I avoid this in the future? What is the root of my angry reaction? Please heal me.…)”  
      • "I'm sorry, Lord, for wasting time on social media, please strengthen me and help me to commit to a guideline that You have in mind.  Show me what that is, Holy Spirit..."
      • "Please forgive me for believing the lie that my worth is dependent on how I perform at school or what others think of me.  Please renew my mind with Your truth about my value and true identity."

*Daily examination of conscience and confession to God in our personal prayer is a wonderful, fruitful and necessary practice.  It is also suggested to have a regular time with the Sacrament of Confession (once or twice a month is a good rhythm for many, and at least once a year is a requirement/precept of the Church). As well, any time we have committed a mortal sin, we should seek to receive the Sacrament of Confession as soon as possible.  More teaching on this to come...Check out this 8 min video on the Sacrament of Confession in the meantime!

  • T = Thanksgiving:  This one is much more familiar to us, however, it may not be something we do nearly enough.  Perhaps make a goal to thank Him for 10 unique things each day --ranging from specific instances in your day, to broader gifts like your family and friends and the air you breathe, really taking time to appreciate "The Father of Lights from whom all good gifts come." (See James 1: 17)
    • Thanksgiving Examples: 
      • “Thank You, Lord, for Your provision.”  
      • “Thank You for the beauty of San Diego, and the blessing it is to run on the beach and enjoy your creation."
      • "Thank You, Jesus, for the gift of my relationship with You, and for chasing me down and finding me when I wasn't even aware I was lost."
      • “ Thank You for my family and friends” 
      • "Thank You, Father, for speaking to me today through that song on the radio at the right time."

  • S = Supplication: This is a fancy word for the kind of prayer you are probably most familiar with--asking the Lord for what we need. As well as making inetercession for others and asking God to bless our family, friends, and enemies (pray for your enemies, bless those who curse you...remember?:-) with the things they need.  Get specific. Remember Jesus encourages us  "ASK and you will receive." Matthew 7:7
    • Supplication Examples:  
      • “Lord, please heal Mary of cancer. Bless her doctors with wisdom and stir her heart to come close to you in the midst of her suffering. "  
      • "Jesus, Prince of Peace, please bring peace to Israel and all those who are suffering.  Please send angels on assignment to release the captives and those who were kidnapped by miraculous, supernatural grace and send Your supernatural comfort and strength to all who are grieving."
      • “Father, please bless my children with protection and peace and good friends.” 
      • “ Lord, please guide us in the decisions we need to make about x,y, z."  
      • "Father, please show me one person I can share your love with today--place an opportunity in my lap and give me courage to take it...but if You can make it easy, that'd be appreciated!" 
      • "Jesus, please heal my heart from this break-up and give me grace to move on, and please bless my future spouse with healing, hope and freedom.." Etc. 
      • "Jesus, please have mercy on and release any of my relatives or friends who have died and are still being purified in Purgatory--pour out Your healing grace on them and let them soon enter fully into the Banquet of Your love in Heaven."
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