So we’ve talked about our concept of God, believing is seeing, and what to pray for. I find that many people when they ask how to pray are looking for a structure or framework. Matthew 6:9-14 and Luke 11:2-4 are good frameworks or structures for how to pray.
I’ve been practicing the ACTS method for so long, I don’t remember where I learned it. Most of the time when people ask me how to pray, I tell them about the ACTS method because it is easy to remember and it is a structure that you can use easily whenever you pray.
A: Adoration, recognizing God for who he is and what he does for you. C: Confession of sins. T: Thankfulness, thanking God for his blessing and provision. S: Supplication, earnestly and humbly request God’s intervention, blessing, or provision.
It helps to write down all that is causing you stress, anxiety, and sorrow before you pray, and it helps to ask God to help you identify the ‘mountains’ that are blocking your spiritual growth.
How to Pray Dying to Self
I learned this next technique for how to pray partially from a promise keeper video that I modified and added the who, what, where, when, and how, but I don’t remember the speaker (if you read this and know, please post below). After I cover the A and C, I visualize ‘dying to self’ and break this into FRMPTH.
I visualize a coffin next to a grave and I drop my FRMPTH into it. F: my future, this includes who I will become, and my whats, wheres, whens, and hows. R: my reputation M: my money P: my possessions T: my time H: my health
After I visualize dropping all this into a coffin, I put the rest of my self into it, drop it in the grave, visualize it being buried, and finally throwing in the first handful of dirt. I know you are thinking right now that this is the weirdest thing you have ever heard, but trust me if you will try this, especially on a fasting day, it will really supercharge your prayer life. It is an effective way of going through the mental process of ‘dying to self and taking up your cross.’
So for me, my general how to pray framework is A, C, death to (FRMPTH), T, and S.
Dying to Self Since the Original Post
Now since this was posted originally, I’ve made some alterations. If they help use, if not forget. This is taken from the first stage of my daily prayer. And sometimes I visualize the coffin being incinerated instead of buried.
FP(past)P(preferences)RMPTHM (any sense of mine, rights to self, or expectations), illusion of control over choice and circumstance, delusions of fame or glory or gold, complete death of any sort of hero or savior complex, any idea to do “the great thing,” any ambition to be a “great writer,” any ambition to be an influencer or respected expert of my professional community, S (and finally self) and any concern for the opinion of others about me, all specific and general fears imagined and real, self-satisfaction, death of all people pleasing from least to greatest, death to the desire to “be right” or to do so to any standard or expectation other than yours Lord. All ideas of mine: “minimal success,” “complete failure,” defining myself as a failure as an excuse not to give my best.
So FRMPTH becomes FPPRMPTHMS. Keep in mine self is a tricky false God, but the Holy Spirit will put his finger on the core problem if I will listen. If I have trouble starting, I can use the General Confession. In about a month, I will begin to notice a difference in my prayer.
Most of the previous posts have emphasized the relationship to God aspect of prayer. Studying Psalms and the prayers of Jesus can help you develop a one to one relationship in your prayers. And don’t forget to ask, ‘Jesus, what do I do?’ instead of ‘What would Jesus do?’