How to Use the ACTS Prayer Model: FREE Printable

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The ACTS Prayer method offers a great way to enhance your prayer life with focused prayer.

When I first started to journal I used the ACTS method of prayer.

I was attracted to its easy-to-remember simple acronym and the established order of its framework.

Not to mention, I love outlines!

My emails often contain numbered lists and it’s not uncommon for my texts to have bullet points! Even in conversation, I’ll often precede my comments with, “I have three points to make on that issue!”

That’s not to say that every time I journal or pray it follows a neatly curated formula or perfectly packaged presentation – that would be far from the truth.

It’s also not realistic, practical, OR favorable to approach Christ Jesus in prayer while clutching onto an outline with a tight grip!

The only thing I want to grasp tightly when I pray is the person of Jesus – certainly not my predetermined outline!

There are times I approach the Lord in prayer with tears welling in my eyes that make it impossible for me to see the lines of a page before me, let alone write down even one word, or remember any acronym – regardless of how well-suited or simple it is!

God desires us to pour out our hearts to Him in heartfelt prayer with reckless abandon.

Quite honestly, that doesn’t always follow the pattern of any outline, formula, or method.

There are other times when I pray and the Holy Spirit leads me in such a way that takes me out of the order of my acronym! 

And that’s ok…

HE is God.

In my time of need, I’m not worried about following a formula; I fall at the feet of my Savior.

Our ultimate goal is to rest in Jesus and find fellowship with Him – not in a neatly crafted outline!

HE leads ME when I pray. 

The ACTS prayer model has been very helpful to me during different seasons of my relationship with the Lord.

This is particularly true when I first came to know Jesus and was learning what prayer was, and how to cultivate a prayer life that fostered an intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I’m sharing this with you today in the hopes it may be helpful to you as well!

Picture of free printable with ACTS Prayer Model

What is the ACTS Prayer Model?

There are four elements of prayer within the ACTS model that comprise the ACTS acronym:

  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Supplication

Let’s take a closer look at what the ACTS prayer acronym stands for and how to apply each component during our prayer time.

Utilizing the ACTS Payer Model in your Prayer Time

I used to write the first letter of each of the above words in my prayer journal and then circle it before I began to pour out my heart and let the words flow onto paper.


A powerful way to begin our time in prayer is in adoration of God. 

When worship is our first step to begin our prayer, we’re positioning ourselves in a posture of humility as we exalt our God.

The praise of God is a perfect starting point as we come into the presence of the Lord.

Our focus shifts from ourselves and is placed on the One to whom we pray.

During this time I may:

  • Pray specific Bible verses of praise.
  • Reflect on the character of God. His holiness, faithfulness, sovereignty etc.
  • Sing a song of worship


A crucial, yet often overlooked component of prayer, is confession of our sins.

Confession means we agree with what God’s Word says about the thoughts, actions, motives, or habits in our life that are sinful.

We acknowledge that we’ve sinned, based on God’s truth and ask for God’s forgiveness. We Determine to repent, or turn away from that specific sin and ask for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to surrender to His authority and not succumb to temptation.

It’s important to note that there is a distinction between confessing sin and repenting of our sins – they are not synonymous actions.

Confessing is the act of acknowledging the presence of sin in your life.

Repentance is a posture of the heart that involves turning away from a specific sin.

I pray and ask the Lord to do a work in my heart as I confess my sin to change the posture of my heart regarding that specific sin and help me to surrender to His authority in the heat of the moment the next time temptation rises.

I often pray Psalm 139:23-24 over myself during this portion of my prayer time:

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The Lord will often bring specific offenses to mind that weren’t even on my radar in answer to that prayer. 

  • A careless word I spoke.
  • An ugly attitude I’ve adopted.
  • A sense of humor that went too far south with cynicism 

I often find myself echoing the prayer of King David

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit in me” (Psalm 51:10)

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 written in front of flowers


It can be easy to overlook being grateful and expressing thanks for our blessings and answers to prayers.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen in my own life where I can get caught up in the cycle of asking for things, but neglecting to return to give thanks.

I petition for:

  • Blessings
  • God’s intervention
  • Things I desire

Make no mistake: we should ask for these things! God desires for us to ask Him for our needs and desires!

But let’s not forget:

The Lord delights when we give Him thanks.

He is honored when we recognize Him as the Giver of any good thing we are – or have. 

Having time set aside to intentionally thank Him is helpful so we don’t overlook doing so.


God desires us to pour out our hearts to Him. 

We come to Him in recognition that He can meet our daily needs and intervene in our lives, situations, and circumstances in ways only He is able.

We come to Him humbly, yet confidently, and in the name of Jesus Christ as we bring our needs before Him.

We can bring all kinds of prayer to Him, including but not limited to:

  • Personal needs and specific requests for our own life
  • Prayer requests on behalf of others
  • We ask Him to provide our daily bread, just as we’re instructed in the Lord’s prayer.
  • Needs of others through prayers of intersession (People we know and love as well as people we have never met)
  • Spiritual needs, such as salvation
  • Physical needs, like health issues
  • Financial needs, a new job opportunity perhaps
  • Emotional, relational – all kinds of prayer! 

I would often write a prayer list in my journal with specific requests; this is helpful to look back and see how God intervened in response.

Concluding thoughts on the ACTS Model

The ACTS prayer model served as a great starting point for me when I first had a desire to grow in my prayer life.

After using it for quite some time the Lord led me to create my own journal template for my personal use.

There are similarities between the two methods, as well as notable differences. If interested, you can read more about my prayer journal template and FREE printable.

There are many prayer methods, and I would never say any of them are:

  • A perfect guide to prayer 
  • The best way to pray 
  • A perfect way to pray 

This is true of the ACTS method, the prayer journal template I created, or any other prayer method!

Both of these prayer templates have been a tremendous blessing to me, however, so I’m sharing them in the hopes they will bless others in their relationship with Jesus.

We need to be careful we don’t get caught up in ANY specific method because when it’s all said and done, our goal is to be in the presence of our Holy God. 

There are many different ways we can pray, but the most important thing is that we don’t lose our focus on the most precious thing:

To be in God’s presence.

HE alone is capable of 

  • Drawing us closer to Himself
  • Revealing truth 
  • Leading us by His Spirit

No outline or formula can do what only God can do, but if they can help us remain focused as we cry out to Him, then TO HIM be all the glory!

A fresh perspective regarding how we pray and the components that comprise our prayer time can be helpful and augment our time with the Lord in ways that cultivate a closer relationship with Him.

One of the benefits to having a focused outline as you pray is to help you stay mentally focused. I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this at times when I pray. 

It goes against the grain of our flesh to quiet ourselves, be still, and focus on the Lord.

Here’s a thought-provoking quote from My Utmost for His Highest, written by Oswald Chambers on this matter:

“Jesus did not say, “Dream about your Father who is in the secret place,” but He said, “…pray to your Father who is in the secret place…” Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.”

Oswald Chambers

Remember to have the Word of God open as you pray. It’s the primary way He speaks.

Never forget prayer is two-way communication.

Digital Download of ACTS acronym 

Picture of free printable with ACTS Prayer Model

Sample prayer using the ACTS Prayer Model

O Lord, we come to you in recognition that you alone are holy. We exalt you and declare that there is none like you. We humble ourselves as we come into your presence. Father forgive me for the sin of _________. I recognize that I did not honor you in the way I __________ and I confess this sinful act. Lord I do desire to repent from _________ – give me the grace and strength to turn from this sin and walk in step with your Holy Spirit. Lord I thank you for the gift of thy salvation – that I know you and my position in you is secure. Thank you for the ability to walk, talk, think, and for ______. Thank you for providing my needs – for the food in my pantry, the roof over my head, and the clothes on my body. Thank you for the grace you extended to me and the answer to prayer in ___________. Lord I ask for your wisdom regarding decisions I need to make – help me to do the right thing that will honor you and bring you glory. I ask for _______________. I also think of my loved ones and ask _______. Lord, I pray for unity in the Church, for the persecuted Church, for ____________________. Thank you, Father, that you invite your people to come into your presence and pour out our hearts to you. Thank you that you hear us, you see us, and you love your people deeply and passionately. It is in your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen 

The ACTS Prayer model can help in your daily prayers to draw close to the Living God.

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