The Acts Prayer Model - How to confidently pray powerful prayers to God (PDF)
Updated: Aug 13
Do you feel confident when you pray to God? Or are you unsure what to say when you pray?
The A.C.T.S prayer model is perfect for you!
The A.C.T.S model is a simple acronym made up of four parts that when prayed cover all the aspects of prayer that should be included in your daily prayer routine.
The A.C.T.S prayer model is very similar to the pattern of prayer that Jesus taught the disciples to pray in Luke 11:1-4. You may also know it as ' The Lord's Prayer '.
A represents the word adoration, C represents confession, T represents thanksgiving, and S represents the word supplication.
I have been praying to God for probably 40+ years. I have always talked to Him. It is just like breathing. I do it continuously and often unconsciously. I'm not bragging, it is just a fact.
God has convicted me that, yes I am good at chatting to Him (and I am very chatty!) but I am not always really seeking His face appropriately. I love to be in God's presence and I have written extensively about how to practice the presence of God, but I do lack in certain areas of practicing prayer.
God is jealous for us to be seeking Him. One of the names of God that displays this characteristic is His name, El Kanna. God desires for us to become all that He has created us to be and for that to happen we need to be constantly in communion with Him and actively listening for God's still strong voice directing us through the curvaceous and unpredictable roads of our lives.
To be in the perfect posture to pray and hear from God is to truly and affectionately adore Him, to create a clean heart before Him, to give thanks to God for everything, and finally to lay all our burdens at His feet and to present all our prayers of petition and supplication before Him. (We will discuss all the definitions of these words further down in this post).
And the awesome news is that Jesus has taught us exactly how to pray!
A.C.T.S Prayer Model PDF
There is also a FREE A.C.T.S. Prayer Model PDF for you to download in the Resource Library. (It only contains the poster, cards, and prayer journal). This will help you to implement all that you learn in this post about prayer.
Jesus taught us how to pray
We read in Luke 11:1-4 of a wonderful conversation that Jesus had with His disciples. The disciples of Jesus went everywhere with Him. They closely observed His every move. They saw firsthand how Jesus interacted with people and how He spent time in communion with God.
So you have to wonder why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.
Did they observe the strength that He received from His Father in heaven, after spending time alone in His presence?
Did Jesus exude peace and joy despite His circumstances that the disciples longed for too?
What was it about Jesus' prayers that led the disciples to ask 'Lord teach us to pray '?
As we learn about how to pray like Jesus, keep in mind that the disciples were already used to praying. Traditional Jewish prayers were said at sunrise, 3 PM, and at nightfall. They would also pray before and after each meal, at Sabbath and Passover.
These Jewish men (Jesus's disciples) were well acquainted with prayer, yet they knew that they were missing something powerful. So they simply asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.
Jesus had something special to teach them and us about prayer.
What was that special, unique ingredient in Jesus' prayer life that the disciples had never seen before but yearned to learn about?
Could the secret ingredient to the prayers of Jesus be that when He prayed in the Holy Spirit, Jesus knew how important it was to adore His Father and confess His inadequacies, and thank Him before presenting His requests before God?
Teach us to pray scripture
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
(Click on the Bible verse and you can select various Bible translations of it.)
This portion of scripture is also known as ' The Lord's prayer '. Read Luke 11:1-4 again. Do you notice that it also has very similar elements to the A.C.T.S acronym?
This is how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. It is quite simple but when executed sets you up to lay the perfect foundation for God to be able to bless and instruct you through your life's journey.
A.C.T.S. prayer model
The A.C.T.S prayer model has the same elements that the Lord's prayer contains, except that there is a time included for thanksgiving. The Bible instructs us throughout scripture to be thankful, so it would be very important to include it in any prayer model.
The A.C.T.S model is the perfect guide to focusing our hearts on who God is and what He has done before we turn our hearts to laying our prayer requests before Him.
As you spend time in prayer adoring God, confessing your sins, and thanking God for all He has done a transformation takes place in your relationship with Him. You become expectant and confident that God is good, that His ways are not our ways but He has a good plan.
The more you get to know God through prayer and reading and praying His word, you will find that you have a more intimate relationship with Him. You will begin to trust Him more and more.
You will find that your heart is expectant of God answering your prayers and even that you trust that God will do a mighty work in those impossible situations that you are praying for a good outcome.
Now before we discuss what each of the letters of the A.C.T.S acronym means and how to implement them, I want to encourage your heart that God encourages us to boldly approach His throne of grace in prayer:
The full guide on how to implement the A.C.T.S prayer method, including scriptures to use in prayer, and 3 pages that consist of, a prayer journal worksheet with the A.C.T.S prompts a page that you can print and display explaining what each of the letters in the A.C.T.S acronym stands for, and a page with 2 of the A.C.T.S acronym in a bookmark size is available HERE.
What does A.C.T.S stand for?
Here is what the A.C.T.S acronym means:
A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplication
How to use the A.C.T.S prayer model:
A - Adoration of God
The letter A of the A.C.T.S acronym stands for the adoration of God. During this time of prayer focus directly on God. Adore Him for who He is and His attributes, His character. Worship and praise God with your whole heart and mind.
Focus your heart and mind upon the full majesty of God and His glory. As you spend this necessary time adoring God it not only pleases Him but also has benefits for you!
"but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. "
As you wait in God's presence adoring Him, you are refreshed too and your faith muscle grows much stronger as you contemplate and remember how big and amazing our God is.
Prayer of adoration
So how do you adore God?
You need a few prompts to raise up a sacrifice of praise in adoration of God Almighty.
You will gain lots of inspiration for praising God from the words of hymns or worship songs, and of course, the Bible is full of adoration verses!
If I find it hard to settle my heart but long to adore God that if I sit quietly listening to a hymn or worship song suddenly my heart engages in the worship and instead of focusing on the things that I can't control, I am in full adoration of the One who can bring the necessary change in my circumstances.
I'm sure that you have found the numerous Bible plans that we have here at Scriptural Grace. They are a great source of inspiration for when you need scriptures to worship and adore God. My favorite sources of adoration are bible verses from the Bible plans, Practicing The Presence Of God, The Names Of God, and God's Amazing Grace.
The Book of Psalms is also a great source of inspiration to use for adoring God.
Here are some of my favorite adoration scriptures: Sit still in God's presence contemplating just one of these Bible verses and wait and watch for the adoration of God to rise up in your heart.
💡 Click on the underlined Bible verse to view it in various translations at BibleGateway.
1. Psalm 8:1: O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
3. Psalm 63:3-4: Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name, I will lift up my hands.
4. Revelation 4:8: And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
5. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
6. Ephesians 1:7: In Him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
7. Psalm 135:3: Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
8. Psalm 34:15: The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
9. Isaiah 55:8-9: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10. Psalm 89:8: O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?
Here is a list of names and attributes of God to praise Him.
💡 Click on the underlined Name of God and it will open up into another post that goes into detail on each awesome Name of God.
Praise God for His majestic work. His mighty power creates order out of chaos.
Genesis 1:1: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Praise God that He is all-sufficient for every one of your needs.
Genesis 17:1-2: When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
God sees your situation and is able to provide for your needs. In the midst of your storm, God is there with you. He knows your circumstances, trust that He has a good plan for you.
Genesis 22:13-14: And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided."
Yahweh Rapha is the Hebrew name for God meaning the Lord who heals. God is our Healer, in both body and soul! Yahweh Rapha wants to not only heal us of our physical illnesses but also of our emotional pain, relational pain, and mental pain.
Exodus 15:26: “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”
Shalom speaks of wholeness, harmony, and completeness. Shalom is not dependent on circumstances but comes from living in harmony with God.
Judges 6:24: Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
God is faithful and His love endures forever! The word "rock" represents God's permanence, His protection, and His enduring faithfulness.
Psalm 18:2: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Jesus is the One who watches over you day and night, feeding you and guiding you on the path of righteousness.
Psalm 23:1-4: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
God shields us from enemy fire. Ancient shields were often made of layered cowhide and were used in situations of close combat as well as to protect soldiers from rocks hurled at them from city walls. They could also be used as shade during the heat of the day, a shelter to rest under at night.
Psalm 3:3: But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
God is your strong tower or stronghold.
Strongholds are fortified defensive structures or a place that is in a position of strength and safety. Strongholds have been used throughout history to provide refuge from enemies.
Proverbs 18:10: The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
Yatsar is the Hebrew name for God meaning to fashion, to frame, the potter. Yatsar is this incredibly descriptive Hebrew word that actually means to take shape by squeezing.
Isaiah 64:8: But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
C- Confess your sins
C stands for confession in the A.C.T.S prayer model. Following your time of praise comes a time of confession.
What does that emotive word, confess mean?
When you hear the words 'confess your sins ', does it make you cringe?
I confess, that just reading the words, 'confess your sins' makes me feel irritable, cranky, and maybe even a bit fearful.
Am I the only one that feels this way?
Well, I used to feel this way until I understood what it means to confess our sins and how beneficial it is to not skip the 'C' part in our A.C.T.S prayer!
What does it mean to confess your sins?
Confession of sin is the admission of what we did and the agreement with God that our actions or words were wrong. Following a time of praise, and being in God's presence, your heart will probably be very aware of any sins that you have committed.
This is normal. None of us are perfect. That is why God sent His Son, Jesus to take the penalty of our sins on the cross.
Jesus paid a high price for us. So we need to honor Him by confessing our sins. This breaks down the barrier between us and God and then we can commune with Him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any area of your life that may not be pleasing to Him. You must be completely honest before God. If we knowingly hold on to sin in our lives, we block our communication and fellowship with Him.
It is very important that we have a right relationship with God and others if we desire to have God hear and answer our prayers.
Once you have confessed your sin, remember that God forgives you and then He forgets them.
When you accept God's forgiveness that means your past is cleansed and your relationship with God is restored.
Sometimes we have habits that are hard to get rid of and lead to sin. So ask God to help you to overcome those particular sins. Constantly seek His presence and you will be strengthened.
Bible verses about confession
💡 Click on the underlined Bible verse to view it in various translations at BibleGateway.
1. Psalm 51:1, 10-12: Here is a prayer of confession from David:
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. "