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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The ACTS Prayer - A Powerful Prayer Discipline to Deepen Your Prayer Life

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The ACTS Prayer - A Powerful Prayer Discipline to Deepen Your Prayer Life -  By John C Arnold

When I mentor people in prayer I encounter some very common concerns. Some people feel as if they are constantly praying the same things and want to expand their prayer conversation with God. I commonly hear this voiced as, "I feel like all I am ever doing. A growing number of people can't keep their focus. Many people find themselves at a loss for words, if they prayer over just a few minutes. Then they are sitting there in awkward silence before God or their mind just wanders. These are less than satisfying experiences. All of these experiences may be corrected though by simply adopting a prayer model. Following a prayer model will:
  • Give you a focus and direction for your prayers to help maintain your attention
  • Guide you to prayer longer
  • Expand your prayer vocabulary by pushing you regularly to pray about things you normally wouldn't
  • Deepen your intimacy with God
So, let's look specifically at the A.C.T.S. prayer. It is one of my favorite prayer disciplines.
Adoration--When I want to adore God I specifically do three things that I noticed David doing in the Psalms. First, I tell God that I love Him. Next, I just acknowledge God for who God is by praying about his character. I say things like, "God you an awesome God, whose love is unfailing. You are a good God whose mercy knows no bounds you. You are almighty and omnipresent." Essentially, I am praising God for who God is. Next, I praise God for what God does. For example, I might say, "God you watch over me and provide for me. I praise you for giving me your Holy Spirt to comfort, teach and Strengthen me." You will find that if you did nothing more than consistently take time to adore God that your intimacy with God will deepen very rapidly.
Confession--Pause to reflect on what you have done wrong. How have you sinned? Be specific in saying what it is you have done, acknowledge that you understand it is sin and ask for God's forgiveness. I find that confession is a bit like running a virus scan on my computer. If I take time to scan for anything that is wrong, I can address it before it gets out of hand and does too much damage. Otherwise, a sin can quietly grow until it has huge undeniable consequences.
Thanksgiving--Thanks is a habit of the heart that every Christian should practice. Paul urged the Colossians to give thanks saying, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17. Gratitude helps restore your mind and emotions; particularly, if you are prone toward depression or negativity.
Supplication--Supplication is a big word for asking for something. It is very broad. At this point in my prayers I pray for any needs that I am aware of in other people's lives, whether those needs are physical, spiritual, mental or emotional. I lift up my own needs and concerns as well.
Lastly, if you really want to experience the benefits of praying in this manner, choose to do it daily for at least three weeks. Your first several days to a week you will just be getting used to the method. That's normal. After a week or so you will begin to find your own sense of rhythm to the prayer and can be less distracted by how you are doing it. I am confident though that by then end of a third week, the prayer will have changed you and how you pray.
Blessings.
John Arnold has been teaching people for over 25 years how to read and apply the word of God in their lives. Read his related blog post on the A.C.T.S. prayer to learn more about this powerful prayer discipline. In that article, you will find links to other invaluable articles about adoration and confess. To get more great discipleship tools and strategies visit his blog, www.ThePracticalDisciple.com. John Arnold's tips and tools for spiritual growth have helped numerous people deepen their relationship with God.  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_C_Arnold Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4842163




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