What Should Our Prayers Include?

Lord, teach us to pray (Luke 11:1, NLT).

Dear friends:

Although prayer cannot be reduced to a formula, certain basic elements should be included in our communication with God. I believe they are Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication, or “ACTS” for short, which will help you remember.

To adore God is to worship and praise Him, to honor and exalt Him in our heart and mind and with our lips. Adoration expresses our complete trust in Him and reflects our confidence that He hears us. Adoration demonstrates our reverence, awe, love, and gratitude.

When our discipline of prayer begins with adoration, the Holy Spirit has opportunity to reveal any sin in our life that needs to be confessed. By seeing God in His purity, His holiness, and His love, we become aware of our own sinfulness and unworthiness. Confessing our sin and receiving His forgiveness restores us to fellowship with Him and clears the channel for God to hear and answer our prayers (1 John 1:7-9).

Nothing pleases God more than our consistent expression of faith. What better way to do this than to tell Him, “Thank you”? God’s Word commands, “Give thanks in all circumstances” because “this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV). As we approach God with a thankful heart, He makes Himself strong on our behalf.

Supplication includes petition for our own needs and intercession for others. We are to pray for everything and in specific terms.

As you talk to God, for example, pray that your inner person may be renewed, always sensitive to and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pray about your problems, pray for wisdom and guidance, pray for strength to resist temptation, pray for comfort in time of sorrow — pray for everything (Philippians 4:6).

Then pray for others — your spouse, your children, your parents, neighbors, friends, campus or community. Pray for your pastor and missionaries, and for various other Christians to whom God has given special responsibility. Pray for those in authority over you (1 Timothy 2:1,2).

These elements — Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication — have helped many Christians to develop a more well-rounded prayer life. Remember: “ACTS.”

Yours for helping to fulfill the Great Commission
each year until our Lord returns,

Bill Bright

About the Author
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world’s population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, “JESUS,” which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to “Touch, Teach and Train” a group of 5 million new house churches around the world 24/7/365 at http://www.globalpastorsnetwork.org.

Copyright © 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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