The following is the text from my bulletin insert. I am designing a series of weekly inserts to help me better explain the Wesleyan Way of Discipleship. You can download a pdf of this insert at the end of blog.
This week, you are encouraged to ask a church member the following:
Have you ever prayed using the ACTS method of prayer?
Did you find this a helpful way to order your prayer life?
Let’s move this week to another of the works of piety suggested by John Wesley for the people called Methodist. Let’s ponder —prayer.
If you thought reading the scriptures carried with it a wide range of understandings, then the topic of prayer is even broader. What is meant by the word prayer? I will define it, in its simplest form, as talking to God. How that talk frames itself is the topic of many a book, sermon, and discussion within the history of the Christian faith.
If we think in terms of the communication that happens between the individual and God, there are several forms that prayers might take. For instance the acronym: ACTS form of prayer.
The A stands for Adoration and refers to the fact that as we come into God’s presence the first thing we need to do is to adore God. The Google online dictionary suggests the following definitions: “love and respect (someone) deeply” or “worship or venerate.” We must pay to God the respect that God deserves and our adoration is the first step to take as we come into the presence of a holy and righteous God.
The C stands for Confession. This word is easier for us to understand. As we adore God and God’s holiness, it becomes clear to us that we are not holy—that sin is present in us. It then becomes incumbent upon us to Confess that sin and to receive the forgiveness that Scripture promises us when we confess our sins.
The T stands for Thanksgiving. At this stage of the prayer, we have acknowledged God and received forgiveness and the natural outpouring of that forgiveness is a thankfulness for all that God has done for us. We lift up the various blessings in our lives and thank God for each of them.
The S stands for Supplication. Again Google dictionary offers the following definition: “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.” This word was used quite often in the mid 1800’s, but rarely used in our time. Yet, the definition suggests that as we talk to God, we can beg in an earnest and humble fashion for God to hear our prayer and answer us.
I am just a simple United Methodist pastor. I am an elder in the Holston Annual Conference. This blog is my attempt to share the insights that I have gathered from John Wesley's writings and from others more knowledgable than myself in regards to Wesley. I am not a scholar. Perhaps you could best think of me as a practical theologian.