Use A. C. T.
S. (Acts) to Remember HOW to Pray
Believers need to learn how to pray. While it
might seem child-like to do so, a so-called "mnemonic" (see below) might help you remember
some typical components and order to prayer. Remember: prayer is your personal or group
(corporate) talking with God.
It is crucial to know that there is no power in
prayer, itself. The power resides within the power of God! During the 2002-2003 warring
between the allied western forces against the Islamic Muslims in Afghanistan and then Iraq,
don't you know that millions of Muslims around the world prayed hard?! So, any power related
to prayer is a result of God sovereignly executing His will. [what if your prayers go
While there is some real fellowship and bonding
between the believers who gather and pray aloud in sequence (or even "corporately"...as in
all of a congregation praying aloud the Lord's Prayer together), prayer is essentially
private and relational with God. When praying this way, don't try to impress others. Your
prayer is your conversation with God; you are allowing others to overhear...it must not be
your motive to impress other humans. However, you may secondarily encourage or inspire those
who hear you talk with God.
Prayer is one of the most common ways for a
believer to "experience" God...to have an experience with God. Have you ever considered: God
wants to hear from us even though He already knows our thoughts. And , if you pray, and He
hears, you just transacted an "experience? What a FANTASTIC reality: any time, anywhere, and
about any thing...you can have an experience with the only true God of the entire universe!!!
Though you can throw up a "rip-cord" [parachuting out of a disaster] prayer on a moments
notice, a main point of prayer is to honor God with your undivided attention (this can be
God knows what we need, so why must we ask?
Another great benefit from prayer is in (1) the reduction of anxiety & worry within
yourself and (2) even in bringing some level-headedness to times of great energy, enthusiasm,
excitement & joy so that you resist impulsiveness & "over-doing it". When worried or
anxious, it is a great mental comfort to praise God in prayer for His power, His fairness,
His love & grace, His faithfulness, His sense of justice, & His constant presence in
the believer's life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Hearing yourself pray such
praises reminds you of our God & how great, therefore, it will be if HIS
WILL is done regarding your situation.
Get in the mood at a regular time each day, get to
a quiet place, get into a humble position (have you ever knelt...or even gotten flat, prone
on the floor prostrate to pray?...and pray out loud even if you just whisper), even "crying
out"...maybe driving alone in your car. I have found that these can help my "attention"
problem. Then remember the following:
A. C. T. S. (as in the book of Acts)
- Adoration: Praise God for who He is and what He has done, or
is doing, for His kingdom work and for you and your life or the lives of those you care about.
You might often praise Him that He engineered the keeping of His Word of God intact that you
might have scripture to grow on. Or that He conceived of, and perfectly executed the plan for
the redeeming sacrifice of His Son which resulted in your salvation, etc. Express your joy and
love for Him [even if you aren't sure that you "feel" it] in all of His attributes.
review/confess the wrongs which you know are still a problem in your life.
- Thanksgiving: Thank Him
for the power He has shown in helping you through tough tests and dark valleys. Thank Him for
your salvation and for the increasing assurance that you are, indeed, "saved". Thank Him for
His wisdom and timing in both answered and apparently unanswered prayers. Thank Him for the
love from Him that this all represents.
- Supplication: This is,
lastly, where you ask for things/results for you (personal requests) or where you intercede for
others (intercessory requests). Remember, nothing is too difficult for God! Ask in
regards to all things, big and small. And ask that His answers be according to His will
[you can't in any way expect God to do or grant a single thing on this earth that is counter to
His will; therefore show your respect and understanding of this by acknowledging your desire
that ALL be according to His will]. Besides, why would we desire anything other than God's
Another helpful reminder gimmick is the "five finger
Better than any reminder gimmick is just the
mature realization that you can just talk to God in plain & private language as if to a
close friend. My mother has told me many times in her older age that she is off & on in
prayer all day long...sort of like a conversation that starts & delays & restarts all
day long. While the above is all OK, Jesus did say to go into a closet to pray (that is,
there's no need for others to monitor or approve your prayer for "correctness"). Finally, HE
KNOWS EVERYTHING ALREADY!!! So have no fear of "shooting straight" in even rough and
graphic language to describe what in your life you are confessing and then asking for help
*** The Lord's Prayer: the example Jesus gave
His Disciples ***
***give me your comments about this
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(posted 27 Feb. 2000; latest addition 19