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It is all well and good to tell people to pray. But sometimes, because of lack of experience, tiredness, or maybe even a spiritual dryness, you don’t know what to say. That’s where ACTS comes in; it is a way to pray, a little formula you can use to get on track and stay focused.
ACTS stands for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Let’s look briefly at each of these.
A: we adore God, praising his holy name and letting him know that we know that he is God.
C: we say we are sorry and ask forgiveness for the wrongs we have done. Not to beat ourselves up but to be honest. And yes, of course, God knows what we have done but with humility, it’s good to admit it to him. This way we can get it out in the open and takes steps to correct our behavior.
T: God has given us everything! So we thank him for the problem resolved easily, the quick trip to work, our children’s success, our health, whatever comes to mind. Thank him for whatever comes to mind.
S: and now we get to the asking for what we need. Just as it’s a bit rude or presumptuous to start a conversation with a friend without asking them if they have time to talk and are well, it’s really the same with God. Wait to ask for your needs and the needs of those you love and those for whom you’ve promised to pray.
As I say in my audio, I didn’t make this up and could not find the origin of it. A priest taught it to me years ago and I pass it on to you. I hope this process is helpful to you!
And for our Not Lukewarm Challenge this week, go ahead and use ACTS to pray. You can download the image above as a reminder if you like.