When I was in college I learned of the ACTS structure to prayer. Is it something you have heard of or used yourself? If you have never heard of it all it is an acrostic to help you structure your prayer life … Adoration, Confession, Supplication, and Thanksgiving. It suggests starting your prayers with Adoration to God, then transitioning to Confession of what is going on in life, with a second transition to Supplication, i.e. asking for God to work in your life and the life of others, followed up by the final transition into Thanksgiving for all God has done for you and others. It is a great structure for someone at the beginner level of prayer. If you want you could even call it Biblical by matching the structure up to the Lords Prayer of Matthew 6:9-13.
I share that structure to share my thoughts from todays reading. I know for myself I am good at the confession part, I am even amazing at the supplication part, and I am also getting better at the thanksgiving part of the structure. This is true in multiple areas of my life. I have no problems doing those things with other people. When I mess up, when I am wrong, I try my best to own up to it and share that fact. I try my best to ask for help before frustration sets in. I am not the man who tries to put something together without the instructions. I also try to do a good job of saying thanks when it is needed. Of course I have room to grow in all these areas, but I feel I do them well in both life and in prayer.
The area I struggle is in showing adoration. I struggle to find the words to express my love and appreciation of things. I do not know why, but for whatever reason adjectives do not come easy to me. This is true in all areas of my life. My wife loves to hear me praise her appearance, her role as a mother, and the things she does for me. But when needed the words just do not seem to be there. To combat that I have a notebook that everyday at 2:00 I write down a “praise” of my wife. I am doing this to help build my vocabulary as well as to be conscious of her need to hear this from me.
As I was reading to day, a thought jumped into my mind … if you struggle with adoration like I do in my prayers to God, David gives us some pretty good examples throughout the Psalms. By reading the Psalms we are given a plethora of adjectives that correctly describe the character and many attributes of God. Let me challenge you to use the Psalms to enhance your prayer life.
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