Once again, begin today with the elements we have already covered:
- Adoration: Reflect on who God is and what he is like.
- Confession: Especially identifying sins from the past day.
- Thanksgiving: For spiritual blessings as well as material ones.
The final ingredient in the ACTS pattern of prayer is “Supplication,” which simply means asking God to supply what we need. We saw from the Lord’s Prayer that God loves us to ask him all for our needs, but we must also learn to ask for the most important things.
The ACTS system has already helped us to put confession and asking God for forgiveness as our top priority. As well as forgiveness, we could summarise our other greatest needs under two headings:
- Faith—not just initially trusting in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, but trusting him in our day-to-day difficulties, and persevering in faith until we reach our eternal heavenly inheritance.
- Growth in godliness—growing in the fruit of the Spirit, fighting against sin, becoming more like Jesus.
Both of these can seem impossible. Our faith is so weak, and our growth so slow. But as we bring these things before God, we can rest on his faithfulness, goodness, and power. You, like Paul, can be confident that:
… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)
To finish your prayer meal today, meditate on the following verses, and use them to ask God for help in trusting him, and in growing in godliness.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:1-2)
Now that we have built a pattern of daily prayer, think about what you can do to organise your prayer life. You could keep a notebook, or a folder with cards or sheets of paper, where you write prayer points and Bible verses under each heading of ACTS. You could use the PrayerMate app on your phone. Whatever you decide to try, it is well worth spending a little time setting up something basic. Write a few things down, or set up a few short lists of points in PrayerMate. You can always improve it later, but something is better than nothing. Decide now what method you will use, and if you can, set it up now. (If you can’t now, set a time to do it.)