Does it make you nervous to pray? It’s just itty-bitty you talking to a great big God. How in the world do you know what to say?
Jesus’ disciples had the same question. “Once Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped praying, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).
After they asked, Jesus taught them the Lord’s Prayer. But that’s not the only prayer Jesus or the disciples ever said—after all, Jesus spent hours in the Garden of Gethsemane talking to his Father right before he was killed.
So what else can you talk about? Use the letters ACTS, and you’ll find lots of things to pray about.
Adoration: Compliment God. Tell him why you adore him, why you think he is awesome!
Confession: Tell God about your sins. He already knows that you did them, but it is good for you to admit to the big ones and share the little ones—and apologize for the ones you don’t even know you did.
Thanksgiving: Just like your dad makes sure you say thank you for your birthday gifts, you thank God for the good things he gives you each day. You can make it long or short, but list the things you were especially grateful for today.
Supplication: Supplication is a big, fancy church word for asking God to supply everything you need. You also ask God to supply the needs of your family and friends—and even people around the world.
ACTS isn’t the way you have to pray. It’s just an idea to help you pray. You can pray with your eyes open or closed, hands folded or not, out loud or in your head, or walking or lying in bed. God doesn’t care if you use big words or little words. Just talk to him and be bold because “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16 NIV).