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Summary: Prayer is an ongoing dialogue with God and a natural response to his work in our lives. The ACTS model of prayer is an easy and effective guide to an individual or corporate time in prayer. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
Read Matthew 6:9-13. (this is Jesus speaking)
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ ”
Practice: As a group, read and discuss each of the four sections that follow, and pause to pray after each section.
Adoration is another word for worship or praise. In adoration we communicate to God how great he is. It’s about recognizing God’s character.
Discuss: Which of God’s character qualities are brought out in Jesus’ prayer?
Pray: Take some time to praise God for these character qualities as a group.
Confession means to agree with. It is agreeing with God that you have sinned and agreeing with God that he has forgiven your sin. Confession is about honesty, humility and faith.
Discuss: Where do you see confession in Jesus’ prayer?
Pray: Take some time now to privately confess your sins to God.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
As adoration is worshiping God for who he is, thanksgiving is thanking God for what he has done, is doing and will do.
Discuss: Where do you see thanksgiving in 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8?
Pray: Take some time to thank God for his good work in the world and in our lives.
Read 1 John 5:14-15.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Supplication means to earnestly and humbly ask for something. The Bible tells us to pray for a wide range of things. The following are just a few ideas.
Discuss: What types to things do you usually pray for?
Pray: Take some time to make your requests known to God.
Pray: In light of what we’ve discussed, how can we pray for each other right now?
Since we last met, what happened as a result of expressing Christ’s love to others?
How can you, or we, express Christ’s love to others by persistently praying for them this week? (Ask God to bring someone to mind.)
All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
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