How to Pray

Over the years, I have been asked numerous times how the best way to pray is.
There are so many ways...and so many verses that talk about it!

In Matthew 6:6 we are commanded: "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Or there is the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13:
9 Pray then like this:

    "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,12and forgive us our debts,
   as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13And lead us not into temptation,
   but deliver us from evil.

My own personal method that I prefer is modeled after the Lord's Prayer and it is called the ACTS method.
I learned it years ago at a camp or mission trip or something, and it has always stuck with me. It really really helps me stay focused. ACTS is an acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.
Let's look at each item element individually:

ADORATION: These well known words from a Christmas carol always come to mind..."Oh come let us Adore Him". We need to Adore our God all year...not just at Christmas. But it is so much more than that! He created us.  NOTHING happens without His having His Hand in it and allowing it to happen. Our prayers need to begin with words of open adoration to our God.

CONFESSION: It is pointless to attempt to talk to God without first confessing and truly asking forgiveness for sins in our life. Sin separates us from God. Get it out of the way, or you will get nothing from this Bible study at all.

THANKSGIVING: Are you truly thankful for all the blessings in your life? Little to Great, be thankful for them! On a side note...I always count blessings at night instead of counting sheep. I literally use my fingers and count specific things that happened that day and thank God for them. I can think of no better way to fall asleep than that!

SUPPLICATION: Specific prayer requests. Notice this comes last! Too often we approach the throne of God expecting something from Him. It is ok and good to pray for things, and other people. In fact we are commanded to "pray without ceasing" in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Just remember, our prayers should not be selfish.