- Sacred Songs
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Early in my Christian life, I was taught an acronym to guide my prayer life. The acronym is A.C.T.S.
“A” stands for adoration. Psalm 145:1 serves as an example: “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever.” Our good and great God deserves no less.
“C” stands for confession. David provides a powerful example in Psalm 51:4: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.”
“T” stands for thanksgiving, and…
“S” for supplication or petition.
There is deep scriptural truth in this method. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
This is a great way start to any prayer but it does leave one part of prayer out – lamenting. To lament is to mourn or experience deep grief. It is not helpful to pray if we are not being genuine. Flowery prayers and sanitized prayers can both be signs of being a hypocrite.
The word hypocrite came into English from the Greek word hypokrites. It means “an actor” or “a stage player.” The Greek word took on an extended meaning to refer to any person who was wearing a figurative mask and pretending to be someone or something they were not. There is no hope for anything real while we are playing a part in our own lives.
We must regularly recognize our condition, take a real look at our circumstances, and then trust and rely on God. Bravery and courage are not ignoring our problems. Rather, they are looking right at our problems and choosing to trust God anyway. Even Jesus lamented on the cross when He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He could have clenched His jaw and said: “Everything is Fine.” But instead, He chose to be genuine and show us His humanity. But ultimately He chose to trust in the will of the Father and say “not my will, but thine be done” with His life.
ACTS is a great way to start out your prayer life. Adore, Confess, give Thanks, and ask for Supplication. But there are times when the only right thing to do is lament. But Jesus gives us this great promise in the sermon on the mount found in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Give yourself permission to lament but know the promise for comfort is right on the other side.