I’m currently studying prayer and thought I’d share with you something I’ve learned that might help you approach prayer with more confidence.

Here’s an acronym for what do when you pray. ACTS.

Adoration – When we come to God we want to shower Him with praise because He deserves it. There is no one like Him and we want to let Him know how much we love Him. Here are some verses you can use to reflect adoration for God.

Confession – When we go to God we want to make sure to confess our sin before Him.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

The most important part about confessing our sin to God is to be honest about it. God already knows everything you’ve done, why you did it, and how you feel about it. Therefore, when you go before Him you need to do so without subterfuge. When we’re honest about our sin then we’re honest about ourselves. That doesn’t mean we’re defined by sin, because we are not. We are defined by Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him. However, sin does play a very important part in our lives. It’s something that, unresolved, is like a wall between us and God. It’s a barrier to prayer and hinders our fellowship with God (Romans 6:23, Psalm 66:18).

When we confess our sin to the Lord we are forgiven and we can be healed from that sin in our life. Whether we’re ashamed about the sin in our life or we’re having a difficult time with any particular issue, God is here to help us, but we need to be honest about it to Him. One problem we might have with some of the sin in our lives is that it might feel good. For example, giving someone a piece of your mind may temporarily give you some pleasure. Especially if the person has gotten on your last nerve. One thing we have to remember about sin is it does feel good. If sin didn’t bring us satisfaction then we wouldn’t sin, would be?

Thanksgiving – After we’ve confessed our sins to God we want to thank Him for all that He’s done. The most basic thing we can all thank God for is the breath of life and for sending Jesus to die for our sins and the sins of the world. Remember that you were once an enemy of God and walking in sin. Now, He’s given you the chance for salvation and all that comes with it.

Another important part I find about giving thanks to God is giving Him thanks for the things He’s going to do. When we pray we’re supposed to believe that what we’ve prayed for is going to come to pass, right? Otherwise, what would be the point in asking if we don’t expect to receive? This is where our faith comes in. This is the difference between great faith and little faith. Those with great faith ask for the moon and expect God to deliver. Jesus said we only needed faith the size of a mustard seed to have that mountain move, and that nothing would be impossible for us! (Matthew 17:20).

Supplication – This is when we ask God to do the things we would like Him to do according to His will. While we should be specific about what we’re asking God to do we should be careful to not tell Him how we want it to be done. What we want, most of all is for His will to be done. We know so very little about everything while God knows everything. Doesn’t it make sense to just ask Him to do it and then be joyful about it getting done?

If you’re like me you have hopes, desires, and dreams that, ironically, you can’t seem to put into words. This is why it’s important to have the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26 NIV). For years I’ve thought it kinda silly to say something like I have these hopes that I can’t put into words. Just the yearning for something better. However, I know the Holy Spirit lives in me and gets the message across to God even if my words cannot contain it.

Finally, a great method of praying is to give God’s word back to Him. Jesus tells us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35 NIV). This is a good reason to read your Bible. Going to church and listening to sermons is great, but I always find there’s a difference between reading something on my own and hearing someone else talk about it.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.