It's As Easy As 1,2,3….
Growing up I would look to the older saints in my church and think…”hmmm where did they learn to pray like that?” They inspired me to grow in me knowledge of the lord and learn to pray a prayer with confidence and meaning. In this season of my life, I've learned that praying isn't difficult, it's just foreign to a lot of people. There isn't a special formula that I can give someone to teach them how to pray but there is advice I can give, or rather advice my boyfriend recently gave me.
Funny enough, my usual conversations with my boyfriend consist of memes, jokes, random facts of each other’s lives and our daily conversations. However, he tends to drop wisdom every now and then. I can't recall much of the conversation but what I distinctly remember is the epiphany I had when he was explaining his prayer process to me. Let me tell you, my boyfriend is pretty great at praying. He said in his very philosophical tone “I follow the ACTS formula”. Knowing me, I didn’t process what he said until after the fact and had a profound revelation...
The ACTS formula consists of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication:
Adoration: “Praise be to God!” -Psalms 68:35
Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all.
Confession: “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
In prayer, you may feel some conviction. Address the sin in your life through your prayers.
Thanksgiving: Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” -Psalms 69:30
Thank God for all he has done and think on all the blessings you have been given.
Supplication: Make your requests known to God.” -Philippians 4:6 .
Pray for the needs of others and yourself.
The ACTS formula is truthfully the best way I have learned to pray. In all my years of praying, I have honestly not heard of this formula and I wish someone told me about it earlier. I was one of those people who tried to pray in Times New Roman for a while when I started to learn (thou, thy, holy). I now know that talking to God is like talking to a friend. Prayer should be an open dialogue but it has to be active. We have to engage with the lord by listening and take pauses. I tend to have ADHD when I pray and just talk about all sorts of random things I’m sure God already knows about.
I encourage you to be open with God. God knows the condition of our hearts and desires for us to share with him. I know that praying can be scary at times but it is well worth it. The process of talking to God and opening up to him is refreshing.
Jesus died for us to have access to our father in this way and it's a beautiful thing. Learn to relax, talk to God and share with him. I promise you, a change will come over your life that you never believed could happen.