ACTS Prayer (Learn The Method and Why It’s Effective)

The ACTS prayer and methodology is a beautiful and structurally sound way to pray. The prayer is clear and concise, covering the points of prayer directed in the Bible.

There are many methods of prayer available to Christians, however, the ACTS prayer is one of the best. Its steps include: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Using this method, prayers will be formulated in a sequential way and it will help present your message to God. Alternatives to this prayer often leave out important steps of adoration and confession.

In the sections below, we’ll share detail about the prayer method, an example ACTS prayer, and pros and cons. Join us in learning and implementing this beautiful prayer!

The ACTS Prayer Summary

Adoration:

Praise God and exalt Him. Accept His power and His presence in your life and in the world. Observe the beauty in the world and praise His creation.

Confession:

Share your shortcomings. Accept that you’re not perfect. Ask for forgiveness for things you know you’ve done wrong and explore ways to improve your daily life to better honor Him

Thanksgiving:

Give thanks to God for all He has done in your life. Thank God for blessings and for the challenges He has presented in your life. Walking with God is not always easy and it’s important to thank the Lord in times of plenty and in times of famine.

Supplication:

Pray for others as well as yourself. Ask for guidance and for ways to bless others. Pray for your family and those who are most vulnerable.

ACTS Acrostic Prayer In Detail

The ACTS prayer method follows sequential steps of prayer that is outlined in the Bible. The core principles focus on 1) Exalting God, 2) Confession, 3) Thanksgiving and 4) Supplication (also read about the 5 finger prayer for kids).

These steps are key to making a successful prayer and focusing on aspects outside of the “self”. All too often, our prayers center on us. This is nothing to be ashamed of because prayer for ourselves is important.

There are, however, other aspects of prayer that we should focus on and we can use the Lord’s Prayer for reference.

Let’s take a closer look at the ACTS prayer method and how we should approach each part.

Adoration –

This means putting God above yourself and acknowledging His power. It’s a great way to begin a prayer because it involves humility and respect.

Words such as humble, power, respect, and creator are popular words of a prayer for adoration. Look at this part of the prayer as an introduction.

Psalm 57:9-11
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations
I will sing of you among the peoples
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens
Let your glory be over all the earth

Confession –

Confession is an important part of prayer and something many other prayers overlook. Admitting that we sin is not something most people are proud of, however, it’s important to present your struggles to God and acknowledge your shortcoming.

>> Also read: The Soap Bible Study Method

Confession is a time to wash away the past and become righteous in the eyes of God. As John said, “if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.  Also in the Hebrew scriptures;

Isaiah 1:18-20
Come now and let us settle the matter says the Lord
Though your sins are like scarlet
They shall be as white as snow
Though they are red as crimson
They shall be like wool
If you are willing and obedient
You will eat the good things of the land
But if you resist and rebel
You will be devoured by the sword
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken

Thanksgiving – 

In the ACTS prayer, expressing thanks might be the easiest step. There is so much to be thankful for. Whether it’s family, friends, education, health, or your career, let God know.

Giving thanks could be for an achievement or it could be something general like nature or good weather.

Psalm 95:1-2
Come let us sing for joy to the Lord
Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
And extol him with music and song

Supplication – 

Supplication is where you can be creative. It’s not a common term but the word refers to prayer and the act of asking for others. It’s a beautiful word that is not used enough (read my list of Bible Study Acroynms).

Supplication can be used for oneself, or it can be used for others. God says, ask and you shall receive, however, we should come to Him on behalf of others as well. With supplication, you can ask for guidance, strength, confidence, wisdom and more.

If you know others who are receiving blessings or going through tough times, pray for them and ask God to help you support them. 

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
So that we may receive mercy
And find grace to help us in our time of need.

Example ACTS Prayer

Dear Lord,

I come before you humbly and I’m grateful to be in Your presence. Your creation abounds before me and I sit in wonder at Your feet.

As a sinner, I come to You today to ask forgiveness. Wash away my sins, forgive me for thoughts and words which I say that do not reflect my faith. Continue to build in me a more disciplined Christian who lives by faith, so others may see your work in my life.

I thank you for your forgiveness and for always being by my side. I thank you for the blessings you’ve bestowed on my life and in those around me. My life is not perfect but as I follow you my faith becomes stronger and my life becomes more pure.

Lastly, I’d like to request continued blessing in my life and for my friends and family. I know you are with us in challenging times. Above all, help us to see the light through the darkest of days and to focus on You. Keep distractions from of our mind.

In Your Holy Name,

Amen

Pros and Cons of the ACTS Prayer

If you’ve been praying for a long time, you know there are an abundance of prayer methods.

New prayer methods are developed frequently based on new insights gleaned from authors and scholars. Small groups and Bible studies often create simple acronyms to help guide them in prayer.

These guides help keep prayers focused on what is really important and helps follow prayer guidance found in the Bible.

Surprisingly, many prayers fall short of how the Bible asks us to pray. Several prayer guides (that won’t be mentioned) leave out important steps like adoration and confession while spending more time praying for others. Praying for others is important, however, it’s also important to ask for forgiveness in prayer!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of the ACTS prayer method

Pros:

  • Brevity

The ACTS acrostic is brief which makes it easy to remember. One of the keys of a good prayer method is to hit on the important aspects of prayer topics and to make it something that is easily understandable.

Four words make up the ACTS prayer method. After two or three days, you’ll have the ACTS prayer points ingrained in your mind and the prayer will become natural.

  • Straight-forward

Similar to brevity, a straight-forward prayer guide is easy to understand and clear. There aren’t extra “bells and whistles” with the ACTS prayer, instead, it incorporates essential prayer points into an easy-to-understand acrostic.

  • Supportive Scripture

Need to find Scripture that supports this prayer?  View the verse examples in this article and search for additional Scripture on your own. The ACTS prayer is backed by Scripture.

  • Sequential Steps

Sometimes, a prayer guide will have steps that aren’t exactly sequential. This guide’s aim is to provide the right steps of prayer, sequentially. It does a great job!

  • More Comprehensive Than Most Prayer Methods

Although simple, it touches the core bases of prayer. It’s even more thorough than other prayers that have additional steps (such as the Five Finger Prayer method).

  • Room For Creativity

Want to put your own spin on prayer, the ACTS prayer can be adapted. I certainly wouldn’t change the prayer points, but if you want to add something you certain can. In my opinion, additional prayer points would likely be subpoints under the core prayer objectives.

  • Applicable to Catholic and Christian Church

This prayer isn’t exclusive to one church. It works well under all Christian churches and denominations.

Cons:

  • Concise

One person might like brevity, while another prefers a more thorough prayer method. If you’re looking for extra detail, this prayer method can be expanded, however, it’s not necessary. At first glance it many seem simple, but unpack the core prayer points and it can be thorough.

  • More Challenging For Children

This prayer method uses terms that could be difficult for children to understand. Explanations should be given to children or people who have little experience with prayer. For children, check out the Five Finger Prayer.

Conclusion

The ACTS prayer and methodology is a wonderful way to pray. In fact, it’s better than almost all other prayer methods (even those that are well-known).

As a simple guide, the prayer method provides us with a clear direction of what God expects in a prayer.

  • We should humbly present ourselves – Adoration
  • Share our sins and shortcomings – Confession
  • Thank God for all that we have, no matter how much or little – Thanksgiving
  • Prayer for others and ourselves, so we may be stronger in faith – Supplication

It’s a concise guide so it is perfect for learning to pray and for Christians who are experienced in prayer.  If you’ve stumbled upon the ACTS prayer, give it a try and add it to a daily prayer routine!