I woke early this morning, anticipating my prayer time, my mind quickly filling up with a long list of prayer requests. I wanted to ask God to do some things, especially things that concerned my grandchildren. While still sitting on the edge of the bed, a formula came to mind that I’ve used in the past when I approached God in prayer: ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Adoration first. I asked myself, when was the last time, Joyce, that you came into God’s presence with a heart full of adoration, and not just with a list of things you wanted Him to do? With that thought, I made coffee and grabbed my Bible-reading chart and saw that this morning’s reading included Psalm 145. My Bible gives this Psalm the title, Great is the LORD, a Song of Praise of David. Written thousands of years ago, here it was on the page ready-made for me, a guide for my time of adoration. I began to read and pray the words to God, realizing that when I had determined to pray this morning, God was already expecting me, giving me the gift of this Psalm. I thanked God for this gift and decided to spend the next several mornings praying this Psalm to Him, letting it teach my heart to adore Him more fully.

The formula, ACTS, is merely a help, a guide, not a rule to follow when I want to pray. God is near to anyone who calls on Him in truth. (Ps. 145:18) I may pray to Him anytime and begin my prayer with whatever is pressing on my heart. But the Scriptures are full of instructions about prayer that include the four elements in this formula.

In the weeks to come, I hope to share some things I observed in Psalm 145 about adoration. After that, I want to see what God will teach me as I use the rest of the ACTS prayer formula, the Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication parts.

Thanks for reading.