Summary: In this sermon I share the popular ACTS model of prayer. It is a way of praying which gives us a model to follow when we pray much in the same way that Jesus did when he gave us the Lord’s Prayer.
Praying For Action, Psalm 46:1
It’s reported that one Sunday an ol’ country preacher in Mississippi prayed the following prayer just before delivering sermon: “Oh Lord, give Thy servant this mornin’ the eyes of the eagle and the wisdom of the owl;
Connect his soul with the gospel telephone in the central skies; ‘luminate his brow with the Sun of heaven; possess his mind with love for the people; turpentine his imagination, grease his lips with ‘possum oil, loosen his tongue with the sledge hammer of Thy power;
‘Lectrify his brain with the lightnin’ of the word; put ‘petual motion on his arms; fill him plum full of the dynamite of Thy glory; ‘noint him all over with the kerosene oil of Thy salvation and SET HIM ON FIRE. Amen!”
I am often asked questions about prayer. One person wants to know why to pray, while another person wants to know what to pray. Is it appropriate to pray only for yourself? Is it correct to pray only for others?
Is a prayer considered a good prayer based on how loudly or fiery it is prayed like the southern preacher in the story I just shared with you?
This morning I want to share with you the popular ACTS model of prayer. It is a way of praying which gives us a model to follow when we pray much in the same way that Jesus did when he gave us the Lord’s Prayer.
ACTS is an acronym with each letter telling us about a certain aspect of prayer. At the same time it also reminds us that a vibrant prayer life pushes toward action.
The A stands for Adoration: proclaiming who God is and the attributes of His character. The C stands for Confession: personal cleansing, repentance, putting on of Christ’s nature.
The T is for Thanksgiving: praise offering, remembering the works of the Lord, meditation. The S stands for Supplication: asking, intercession, and petitioning according to His will
The Acts Prayer Model (Adapted from the Joseph Company’s Teachings)
The ACTS Prayer Model is a tool to help guide you into the Presence of God during your personal devotional time. It is a means of intentional prayer.
Take time to adore the Lord and give Him the affection of your heart. Do not ask anything. Focus on the attributes of God and declare who He is. Pray through the scriptures (specifically Psalms) to give yourself language for your adoration.
Wayne Muller, in his book “Learning to Pray,” writes, “In northern California, there is fog in the morning. As I write this, looking out my window, I know that the mountains and the trees, the grasses and the sky, remain hidden in the fog, but I cannot see them with my eyes.
Instead, I feel their presence in my body, I know the shapes that lie behind the fog for having seen them, watched them emerge again and again. It is a primitive kind of faith, based on repetition and proof, but a kind of faith that the fog will, indeed, lift. Slowly, as the sun warms the earth, the fog begins to clear.
And as it does, outlines appear, colors, textures, and, finally, the sky and sun are quietly revealed and I can see them all. This is prayer. This is deep, faithful listening, waiting for what is hidden to be revealed.
Prayer is not words; prayer is what happens when you listen and wait, beneath the words, for the outline of heaven to emerge.”
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength… ever-present help in times of trouble…” God is abundantly available; He is always there when we need Him.
Romans 8:38 says, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers can separate me from your love.”
If we are to experience God in our prayer lives then we have to learn to perceive what is behind the fog in our life. What lies behind the financial concerns of every day life...? A God who provides!
What lies behind our sometimes limited faith…? A God who is patiently waiting to fill us with all of the faith that we need for this life! Indeed, it is when the fog is lifted that we see things for what they really are!
Alexander Pope, the English poet of the early eighteenth century, wrote, “A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”
The ultimate act of spiritual warfare is that which we do against our own corrupt nature. By lingering in the place of repentance, we rid ourselves of the sinful nature and take on the nature of Christ.