Want to know how to develop your prayer life and your time alone with God? Pastor Frank shared two acronyms with us this past Sunday: ACTS and SOAP. ACTS is a pattern for prayer and SOAP will help you read and apply scripture. If you consistently practice ACTS and SOAP you will grow in your faith.
A Pattern for Prayer: ACTS
A – Adore God
Telling God how great he is, why he’s great (merciful, kind, and so on), and how much we love him for it. Adoration focuses on the attributes of God. It is recognizing his character.
C – Confess your sins
Acknowledging to God any known sin that is displeasing to him so that we can come to him unhindered, completely surrendered and cleansed. John wrote on 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us." Confession puts you in a right relationship with God and paves the way for greater intimacy with Him.
T – Thank God
Thanking God for his grace and forgiveness in our lives, and thanking him for all the things he’s done for us and given to us. It is a bit different than Adoration (above). Adoring God is recognizing who is is. Thanking God recognizes what He has done.
S – Share your needs
Asking God for things that we want. It isn't wrong to ask God for what you need and want. In Jesus' model prayer (Matthew 6:11) Jesus taught his followers to ask God for their "daily bread." Like all good fathers, God wants to give his children gifts.
A pattern for a quiet time: SOAP
S – Scripture
Choose a scripture to read. Don’t try to do too much. The idea isn’t to bite off a big chunk, but rather, to thoroughly chew it. If you're not sure where to start, check out some of the reading plans at www.bible.com.
O – Observation
Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
- Who is speaking or writing? Who is the speaker/author addressing?
- What is happening? What is the author/speaker trying to communicate?
- When will this take place? Has it already occurred? Is it expected in the future?
- Where did this happen, or where will this happen? Is there somewhere God wants you to go?
- Why was this written? Why did God put this passage in front of you today?
- How will God do this? How does God want you to respond to this?
A – Application
How does the passage apply to you and to others? And what are some actions you need to take in order to apply God’s Word directly to your life?
P – Prayer
This is where you will practice ACTS from above.
Try this for a week. Find a time and a place where you can step away from the busyness of your week and spend time with God. Let us know how it is going by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detailed information, check out this post from Campus Crusade for Christ.