Patterns of prayer

Resources on prayer and how to pray are almost unlimited. One well-known and loved prayer model is the ACTS pattern. To pray using this pattern, simply remember these words that form the acrostic ACTS.

 A — Adoration

 C — Confession

 T Thanksgiving

 S Supplication

Begin praying by expressing your adoration to God; next, confess your sins; then thank Him for what He has done and present your supplications, or requests, to Him. David, a man after God’s own heart, gave us two beautiful examples of prayers that include adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication in Psalms 32 and 51.

Another often-practiced prayer pattern is to use each section of the Lord’s Prayer as a prompt for praise, hope, dependence, forgiveness, and goodness. Since this was the prayer Jesus used to teach the disciples how to pray, it must be a good one for us! Using the King James Version, it works like this:

Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name (praise).

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (hope). 

Give us this day our daily bread (dependence).

And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors (forgiveness).

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil (goodness).

—Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV, with prayer pattern response added in parentheses)

Both of these patterns are simple enough for even children. Many others are available – just do a Web search for the phrase prayer pattern.

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