Thursday, June 7, 2007


Regarding prayer, have you ever heard the acronym ACTS? It’s a great way to remember how we should pray and is an especially useful tool for corporate prayer. Here’s how it’s broken down:

A is adoration (Praise God)
C is confession
T is thanksgiving
S is supplication (Requests)

However, a few years ago, I realized that one VERY important element was missing from this acronym. This element should actually come before all the others. Here is a verse that describes it:

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:25

Ah ha! All of our prayers really should begin with forgiveness—transforming ACTS into FACTS. Even before we confess our own sins to God, we should ask Him to reveal to us anyone that we have not forgiven. We should then forgive that person and ask God to make that forgiveness complete in our hearts.

Sometimes we spend more time on this step than any other, depending on how many people have sinned against us (either by commission or omission) that week.

I know sometimes I find myself offended by small things. Even these need cleansing before God. For example: when my husband doesn't show interest or compassion for my latest problem, I feel a tad slighted or hurt. These are things that can send me to bed feeling a little sorry for myself and a smidgen cold toward him. This is a hindrance to both a great marriage and my prayers being heard by God.

So before we ask of God, before we present our needs to Him, before we even begin to praise and adore Him, we should forgive all the transgressions of others. Then we can, with a sincere heart, pray, "Forgive us AS we have forgiven others." You see, the act of forgiving others will have already been completed.

F - Forgiveness
A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplication

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