PRAYER is the practice of communicating with God — us with God or God with us, or both. In two dimensions was prayer made: 1) to adore God for who he is, and 2) to thank God with praise for what he has done. What we add to prayer is our own needs; to confess our sin and to request God’s help.
Here, below, is the A.C.T.S. prayer, with the abovementioned characteristics, which is the completion of prayer:
ADORATION – for who God is.
CONFESSION – for who we are, and for what we do and have done.
THANKSGIVING – with praise, for what God does and has done.
SUPPLICATION – for what we wish God to do.
As prayer is a flow of communication between us to God — and just as much about the Holy Spirit’s revelation in and through us — it is about giving to God.
We are privileged to adore God and receive the blessing of joy.
We are blessed to confess and to experience healing due our honest humility.
We are blessed with joy, again, in the actuation of thanksgiving with praise.
Then we are appropriately positioned to make our plea, the best of which are either for others’ help and healing, or for our own growth and development amid acceptance.
The movement in the traditional A.C.T.S. prayer is one account of giving what is first due: adoration. Adoration is good for us. The next account is one of confessing our sin or need of brokenness. Both types of confession are one and the same to God. The third account is, again, the simple recognition of what is the nature of God: to offer thanksgiving of praise. The final account is then fitting: seeking the help we or others need.
ADORATION – is about God and is pointed toward God.
CONFESSION – is about us but is pointed toward God.
THANKSGIVING – is about God and is pointed toward God.
SUPPLICATION – is about us and/or others but is pointed toward God.
The purposes of prayer for enjoying the Presence of God, therefore, are about orientations of truth.
Truths in Prayer: We are calling God for who he is — to be adored, thanked and praised. We are calling ourselves for who we are — sinners in need of saving; broken people with a need of restoration.
From these truths emanate the warrant of seeking God’s favour through supplication.
The first three movements of adoration, confession and thanksgiving merely prepare the heart to make a plea of truth.
Prayer in truth entreats the Presence of God. We can be sure to be heard when we are honest.
We earn the right to pray for help, when, through adoration, confession and thanksgiving, we have honoured first these first three key truths.
Prayer in the Presence of God involves the courage to be honest.
Truth must serve prayer, because without honesty prayer will not be heard by God.
Spending time in adoration, confession and thanksgiving helps us pray our requests in a fittingly truthful way.
When we are honest before God in prayer, we are blessed to enjoy his Presence.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.