If you’re here, you surely believe that prayer is important. But although practically all Christians agree on this, many of us simply don’t know how to go about praying. Today’s guide may just be a review for some, but hopefully it will help anyone struggling to begin a new prayer life.
An excellent place to start is the ACTS method of praying. ACTS is an acronym for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. The idea is to begin your prayers giving praise and honor to God and setting a tone of reverence for who He is. Transition into admitting your own shortcomings and how you have fallen short of God’s glory. Next verbalize what you’re grateful for in your life/situation and in the world around you. To close, pray for the needs of yourselves and others. Below is a prayer from the United Methodist Book of Worship on the start of a new school year that loosely follows this method. This particular prayer doesn’t have a confession portion, but the subject is relevant and you can undoubtedly add a line yourself confessing your own failures from previous semesters. Yes, the semester is well underway, but this is actually only the second full week of school and it’s a great time to pray for what is to come.
“At the beginning of a new school year, O God of wisdom, we offer thanks and praise for the gift of new beginnings and for the opportunity to learn and to wonder. We pray for teachers, students, and staff that this year might be rewarding for all. Be with us as we face the challenge of new tasks, the fear of failure, the expectations of parents, friends, and self. In our learning and our teaching, may we grow in service to others and in love for your world, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.”
As you pray throughout the week, consider this method as a go-to template when you need someplace to start. Have a great day and in all things glorify God!