One of the biggest questions I had as a New Believer in Christ was, “How do I pray? What if I’m doing it wrong? Is God really listening to me?”
First things first, let’s address the fact that there is no magic answer to any of these questions. There is no “right” way to pray and you can’t “do it wrong”. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us that God is always listening,
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
The Beginner’s Guide on How to Pray
Not everyone will be satisfied with that answer. Which is why I’m going to share with you what was taught to me. It’s called the ACTS prayer method.
ACTS stands for:
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication
A is for Adoration
“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.” – Psalm 29:2
Adoration means “to honor and worship something, to pay reverence to, or to praise”. This step is all about giving God praise as Lord over all. Acknowledging His characteristics and giving Him glory. That could look like this, “Father God, thank you for your mercy and grace, for your redemption and forgiveness of my sins.” It can be super simple or more extravagant, whatever suits you. Who is God to you? If you need inspiration for how to pray on God’s goodness and attributes go to Psalm 103.
C is for Confession
This next step is honestly dealing with our sin and looking within our own hearts. What are you letting get between you and God? Where are you showing disobedience? If you are a New Believer this step might be hard for you as you are not familiar with God’s Word. If you are having trouble confronting your sin or understanding what it is you need to confess, use this bible verse to pray Psalm 139:23-24. It would look something like this, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Don’t look at confession as a bad thing. It’s not and actually is the best way to clean your heart and turn it towards God.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
T is for Thanksgiving
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6
Now is the time to thank God for everything He has done for you. What are you grateful for? Has God answered a prayer? Give thanks for friendships, family, or other relationships in your life. Let God know you are grateful for His Good Works and Praise Him for it!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 107:1
“I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.” – Psalm 118:21
S is for Supplication
Supplicating means “to pray humbly; to petition”. Ask God for help with the things you are struggling with. Nothing is too small or too big for our Heavenly Father.
Are you struggling in your marriage?
Do you have a child who’s fallen off the path of God?
Is someone sick and in need of healing?
Are you having financial problems?
Humble yourself before the Lord and ask for His help and guidance.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7
Putting It All Together
Here, I have typed out an example of how to pray by using the ACTS prayer method:
A – Father God, thank You for Your mercy and grace, for Your redemption and forgiveness of my sins. I love You with all my heart.
C – I’m new to this whole confession thing and I’m not quite sure where to start. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Convict me of my sins so that I may confess them to You and seek forgiveness.
T – Thank You for gifting me with a husband that is strong in Your Word and continues to lead me along Your path. Thank You for always showing me grace amongst the trials and tribulations of life.
S – I pray today that You touch the heart of my son who has not accepted You into His life. Lord, I pray for his salvation and Your mercy to find him. Please keep my husband safe at work and healthy during this crazy time. I pray that You continue to guide me in the next steps to take in my career.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
I pray this helps you in understanding how to pray and enriches your prayer life and relationship with Our Holy Father. I would love to hear your experiences with it and how it has changed your prayer life!
Last but not least, remember the most important thing to note here is this: It doesn’t matter how you pray, when you pray, or what prayer you use… just do it! For more information on prayer, read this blog post “The Importance of Prayer”.