A.C.T.S. Prayer Guide

The following prayer guide is not original with me but is something I have found helpful in organizing my daily prayer time:



In Psalm 22:3 the psalmist David wrote of God, But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.  A modern paraphrase renders this verse, God inhabits the praise of His people.
The picture in my mind is that God loves to make himself comfortable in places where people are praising Him.  In fact, he is so comfortable that he chooses to live there.  If you want to experience God’s presence, then praise Him – tell Him how good he is.  It is no coincidence that the Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be your name.”


Each day as you enter your payer time, listen to some good praise music; read a psalm that is praise oriented; sing or read to Him the words of your favorite praise chorus; or just tell God in your own words how marvelous and wonderful He is.  There’s no right or wrong way to do this.  Often, I will listen to my favorite worship song on You Tube.  Just get into God’s presence by lifting Him up.



It is said that “confession is good for the soul.”  Not only is confession good for the soul, it is essential in approaching a holy God in prayer.  Consider the following scriptures:

  • Psalm 34:15 – “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.”
  • Proverbs 15:29 – “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
  • James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
  • Matthew 5:23-24 — “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Sin prevents access to God.  Think in terms of a parent/child relationship.  When a disobedient child comes to a parent with a request for some type of pleasure, a wise and discerning parent will not grant any favors until the disobedience has been dealt with.   You will get no further with God than an obedient and a pure heart.

The good news is that according to 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

One word of caution is in order here.  One of Satan’s tricks is to get us to repeatedly go back to sins for which we have already confessed and sought God’s forgiveness.  Satan loves it when we focus on our past rather than the future.  Remember, whatever God has forgiven is forever gone whether it was last month or one hour ago.  One way I keep things in perspective is to pray the following prayer:

God, if I have been disobedient to you in any way

since the last time we met, please reveal it to me.

This keeps everything current and up to date for me.



After a time of adoration and seeking our hearts for any sin, enter a time of thanksgiving using the following guideline: 
Thank God for answering prayer;
Thank God for spiritual blessings (salvation, Holy Spirit, His presence, etc.):
Thank God for relational blessings (family, friends, etc.)
Thank God for material blessings.
The brother of Jesus said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father” (James 1:17).  Acknowledge His blessings in your life. 



This is the place where you pray for the needs in your life whether they are yours or others.  I have chosen a particular path I am comfortable with.  You may adopt it for yourself or choose another way.  They key is to find a way of praying for needs you are comfortable with.  This is how I do it:

Monday – Prayers for family members and needs and for areas in which God is dealing with me, personally.

Tuesday – Praying for pastors around the country

Wednesday – Prayers for our church and people.  I often use the church directory and work my way through a segment of the alphabet each week. This is also a weekly fasting day.

Thursday – Praying Scripture – If God has spoken to me through certain scriptures I have read, I will use Thursdays to pray them.  There are some powerful prayers in Paul’s writing that I have prayed many times.  Ephesians 1:15-18; Ephesians 3:14-19; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12.  Additionally, I have prayed the words of Philippians 2:5-11 for myself man times. 

God loves to hear himself quoted! He loves to hear his people pray back to Him the words that He gave us.  Not only that, when we pray God’s Word, we can rest assured we are praying properly and, in the Spirit, if our motives are right.


Friday – Friday is my personal Sabbath.  In the mornings I just rest in silence and try to hear what Jesus is saying to me.  My suggestion is to listen to what the Lord wants to add to your time with Him.  I’ll let you decide what your Friday and Saturday looks like.

“Be Anxious for Nothing”

That encouragement is right from scripture (Philippians 4:6).  So, if this plan seems a little overwhelming, don’t get anxious about whether you are doing it right or wrong.  When my kids come to visit, I don’t care how they get there, what they’re wearing, or how they are feeling.  I’m just glad to see them.  It’s the same thing with Jesus.  He is always glad you’ve taken time for Him, no matter what it looks like.