Saturday, March 19, 2011

Prayer - Out of the Box

Last week the youth group went to the parish faith formation hour that was about family prayer.  The formation is focusing on prayer this lent, and I thought that would be a good focus for us, too.  This week we're looking at the ACTS prayer format.  The idea is to pray scripturally, following the modes of prayer that we see people using in the Bible.

Adoration - We adore God for who he is.  (No asking for anything.) "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross." Hebrews 12:2
Example: Praise the names of God.  1 Chronicles 29:11 and 2 Corinthians 12:9

Confession - We see our sin as God sees it. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Example: Confess hiding our sins.  Psalm 32:3-5, Psalm 51:6a, Psalm 139:23-24 and James 5:16

Thanksgiving - We focus on what God has done. "Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them." Psalm 111:2
Example: Thank you for providing a way. Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 42:16 and Proverbs 15:19

Supplication - We call on God for guidance and help, and intercede for others. "And I will do whatever you ask in my name." John 14:13a
Example:  Please help our friend to know Jesus voice and follow him.  John 10:4-5, John 18:37 and Revelation 3:20

I think an alliterating friend I have might have said - Adore, Admit, Acknowledge and Ask.

We have an amazing thing to support it.  A family friend, Marion Grothaus, worked her heart out putting together a collection of scripture to support those four ways to address God, and called it Prayer Out of the Box.  They made a small number and saw fantastic results with them in prayer groups and prison ministry, but never found a publisher. We use them in family, and my wife often prays with friends using them.

Each category has a number of cards with different bits of scripture.  We'll have the kids pick cards for adoration, thanksgiving, and supplication, and I'll pick for confession, with that optional for them.

Further Reading: a blogpost on the ACTS model from The Practical Disciple.

Photocredit: The Sharpteam @ Flickr.  The prayer heart was Marion's logo for the box.


  1. hi, a friend and i started a moms in prayer group, and someone donated a prayer out of the box box. i'd like to own one personally. do you know how i could find one?

  2. I have the same question ... I'd love to own a Prayer Out of the box kit.