Once you know the state of your heart, and the confessions you need to make, take it to the Lord. One of the best tools used for giving a simple outline of prayer is the ACTS acrostic.
- Begin by telling the Lord how much you Adore Him. One of the best loved hymns of all time, based on a poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg, is “How Great Thou Art”. Hymns, modern worship songs, and music from Christian artists that highlight the aspects of God’s character are great tools for telling of your adoration for the Lord. Or, make a list of verses that are reminders of who God is and recite them in prayer to God. This is a part of your communication with Him that is focused only on Him, and not on the worries, concerns, and sins or our lives.
- Next, Confess to the Lord those things He revealed to you as you plowed through your heart before Him. Allow this time to be personal between you and the Lord. This will mean vulnerability on your part, which may not be easy, but it will be beneficial. As you confess the sins of your life, seek the Lords help to not only confess but to turn away from them. There are many prayers of confession we can read in the book of Psalm (Psalm 32:4-6; 38:17-19; 51:1, 10-12).
- You may find that as you confess these sins, knowing that the Lord forgives them, the next step may come from your mouth before your mind realizes it’s the next step! Follow up your confession with words of Thanksgiving. God not only forgave those sins you just confessed, but as Psalm 103:11 states, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Even in our darkest hour and time of need, God has promised that He loves us, He has saved us, and He will not forget or forsake us. Share with the Lord all the things you are thankful for. Begin a list of these things as a reminder of how thankful you are. Songs and scripture can be used here as well as a great way to express to the Lord your thanks.
- Finally, speak to the Lord and make Supplication for your needs, and especially the needs of others. Supplication is simply a plea, or request. In prayer, this request is for the needs you know in your life and the lives of those around you for the Lord to answer. Sometimes this is the first step we begin our prayers with, placing ourselves in jeopardy of using God for selfish gain. When we use the previous steps first, we will find how dependent we are on the Lord and a trust will develop in His wisdom as He cares for and answers our needs. You will find more information concerning supplication in the Prayer Walking, Praying for the Lost and Intercessory Prayer sections of this site.
Communication in our relationships is not always easy. It requires intentional action, and at times lots of hard work. Your prayer life may not start off feeling comfortable, easy, or show any fruitfulness. Be encouraged that as you keep at it, your conversations with the Lord will become a place of refuge, flow from your mouth without you having to think about it, and be answered by the mighty hand of God. If you would like more information, take some time to visit the South Carolina Baptist Convention's webpage on prayer here.