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The ACTS of PRAYER: A model for powerful prayer

Luke 11:1  Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” 

Greetings to you all in the blessed name of our LORD Jesus Christ!

In our last study we discussed the power of your prayers and how James the brother of our LORD Jesus Christ said something so profound about prayer and the Prophet Elijah, which should encourage each and every one of us to pray with boldness, confidence and power!  Let’s review James 5: 17-18  again!

Jas 5:17  Elijah was a man subject to passions like as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.

Jas 5:18  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

 Do you understand what James is saying? That although Elijah was a mighty prophet of God and stopped the rain for three and a half years in the name of the LORD, (1 Kings 17:1), he was a man, a human being with emotions and passions like you and me!

If you are not aware of how powerful Elijah the Prophet was, let me remind you again of what he did in the name of the LORD! God used Elijah mightily to raise a boy from the dead, (1 Kings 17: 21)  called down fire from heaven, (1 Kings 18: 37-38), killed four hundred and fifty false prophets  by himself, (1 Kings 18:40) but yet he was a human being with a nature like you and me!

This should encourage someone that God is not a respecter of persons and that he hears the effective fervent prayers of his beloved and righteous children!

Many times we look at people in the world who are famous, or maybe someone in ministry who is doing a great work for the LORD, and we tend to put them on a pedestal as if they were from another galaxy.  Now don’t get me wrong, the Bible says to give honor to where honor is due and we are to honor those that deserve honor.  

But understand that each and every person in this human body has emotions, passions, needs and desires. The only difference in being called of God is that God has anointed them, sanctified them, and set them aside for Kingdom purposes in the earth, and for this reason we should give double honor.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 13:7, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

He confirms it in 1 Tim 5:17  “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”

Now I could go on about this but I want to stay on our topic of prayer! The point I am making in regards to prayer is that James tells us that although Elijah that mighty man and prophet of God was used mightily of the LORD,  he had emotions and passions like you and me. 

So as it relates to prayer, many people have a fear or draw back when it is time to pray, especially in public but God has empowered you to ask, seek and knock with confidence. Listen to Hebrews 4:16!

Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

Did you hear that? Let us come boldly to the throne of grace. Now when we come, we should come boldly, but humbly as well!

When I was in the military years ago, when I first got saved, it was a struggle in some respects in learning how to pray like the mature saints did. But I learned a simple way to pray from a simple formula called the ACTS of PRAYER. Let me share it with you, but first let’s take a look at a scripture in Luke 11:1.

Luk 11:1  “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

So here we have the disciples who have seen Jesus cast out demons, tell parables with heavenly wisdom and perform miracles in their presence, yet they asked him to teach them how to pray, and he taught them a simple prayer that we know as the LORD’s prayer.  So we see according to scripture that prayer can be taught!  Just remember that some things are taught and some things are caught!

What does that mean? There are some things that you can be taught by others, but there are some things you have to catch by the Holy Spirit who will teach you!

Someone may be reading this and saying the Lord ’s Prayer is so simple. Yes it is simple,  but it contains everything we need as it relates to coming into agreement with heavens Kingdom plan, fulfilling the will of God, and getting our needs supplied. Let’s talk about the ACTS of PRAYER.

Although prayer cannot be reduced to a formula, certain basic elements should be included in our communication with God and they are Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication, or “ACTS” for short, which will help you remember. Let me explain!


To adore God is to worship and praise Him, to honor and exalt Him in our heart and mind and with our lips. Adoration expresses our complete trust in Him and reflects our confidence that He hears us. Adoration demonstrates our reverence, awe, love, and gratitude. (Psalm 96:9, John 4:24)


When our discipline of prayer begins with adoration, the Holy Spirit has opportunity to reveal any sin in our life that needs to be confessed. By seeing God in His purity, His holiness, and His love, we become aware of our own sinfulness and unworthiness. Confessing our sin and receiving His forgiveness restores us to fellowship with Him and clears the channel for God to hear and answer our prayers (Prov 28: 13, 1 John 1:8-9).


Nothing pleases God more than our consistent expression of thanksgiving. What better way to do this than to tell Him, “Thank you!” God’s Word commands, “Give thanks in all circumstances” because “this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” As we approach God with a thankful heart, He makes Himself strong on our behalf. (Psalm 107:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ).


Last but not least is supplication which means to ask, plea, petition, request or beg. It is an earnest or humble plea for our personal needs and desires through prayer. Supplication includes our petitions and requests for our own needs and intercession for others. We are to pray for everything and we should be specific. (Matt 7: 7-8, Luke 11: 9-13)

As you pray to the LORD be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Pray about your problems, pray for wisdom and guidance, pray for strength to resist temptation, pray for comfort in time of sorrow, pray for others, pray for your family, your children, your parents, neighbors, friends, community, city and country. Pray for your pastor and missionaries, pray for leaders to whom God has given special responsibility, and above all pray for those in authority over you (1 Timothy 2:1-5).

These elements of prayer — Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication — have helped many believers over the years to develop a more well-rounded prayer life!  So keep praying according to Luke 18: 1, 1 Thess 5:17 and Eph 6:18 and see you next time!

God Bless,

Pastor Quinn

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