Daily prayer is a necessary spiritual discipline for Christians to follow. However, if you’re a new believer, or if you’ve recently returned to your faith, it can be hard to know what to prayer. If this sounds like you, prayer acronyms might help.
Christian prayer acronyms are designed to help you pray in a more structured way. If your thoughts wander like I do, structure helps! Acronyms are also helpful if you find yourself struggling to come up with things to pray about. Each acronym has different prompts assigned to each letter, so all you need to do is work through those prompts.
If you’re not sure which acronym to use, try them all to see which one works best for you. There’s no wrong way to pray, so find the method that helps you connect with God in the deepest way possible.
Christian Prayer Acronyms
There are many different prayer acronyms, but I like ACTS, HEART, and PRAY.
ACTS is an acronym for:
HEART is actually an acronym for two different prayer models. The first HEART prayer model is:
However, you can also use this HEART prayer model:
- Honor God
- Examine your life
- Ask for help
- Request for others
- Thank God
Finally, PRAY is a particularly apt acronym for prayer:
ACTS Prayer Method
The ACTS prayer method is a great place to start if you’re new to structured prayer. I use the ACTS prayer method myself most nights! As a reminder, this acronym stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
Adoration is all about worshipping God for who They are. You might spend some time reflecting on Their attributes, or on all the ways They have blessed you.
Confession is all about acknowledging your sins and asking for forgiveness. Be honest with God, who already knows all things, but who wants to hear from you anyway.
Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for everything God has done in your life. This could include things that have happened recently, or things that have happened in the past.
Supplication is all about making requests of God. This could be anything from asking for help with a problem you’re having, to asking for guidance in a decision you need to make. You can also pray for others during this time.
Get started using the ACTS prayer method today with a free printable! Prayer journaling is another great way to have structured prayer.
HEART Prayer Method
The HEART prayer method is another great option for those who are new to structured prayer. As already mentioned, there are two distinct HEART prayer methods. The first one means Honesty, Endurance, Awe, Repentance, and Trust.
Honesty is all about being honest with God. This includes being honest about your sin, as well as any doubts or fears you might have.
Endurance is all about continuing to seek God even when things are tough. It’s important to remember that God is with you even when life is hard.
Awe is all about feeling overwhelmed by God’s majesty. When you experience awe, you’ll be more likely to obey Them out of reverence and respect.
Repentance is all about turning away from sin and towards God. It’s important to remember that repentance is a lifelong journey. None of us will ever perfectly emulate Christ, but we should keep trying daily.
Trust is all about trusting God to lead you and to guide you. God is always faithful, even when we’re not.
Alternate HEART Prayer Method
The other HEART prayer method is similar to ACTS in application. For this one, HEART refers to short verbal commands. While these might not be as easy to remember as the nouns above, they can be easier to apply in prayer.
Honor God: Start your prayer by honoring God for who They are. Contemplate the attributes of God. Focus on who God is, not just what God has done.
Examine your life: Next, take a moment to examine your life and to ask God to help you see any areas where you need growth. Ask Them to forgive your sins and to help you do better in the future. Rest assured that your sins are forgiven!
Ask for help: Now is the time for you to ask God for help with the things that are important to you. Ask Them to guide you and to protect you, to help you in your relationships, and to give you the strength to overcome your struggles.
Request for others: As you pray, don’t forget to intercede for others. Ask God to bless them, to protect them, and to meet their needs.
Thank God: Finally, thank God for Their love and care. Thank God for being faithful and for always hearing our prayers.
PRAY Prayer Method
The PRAY prayer method is another great option for those who are new to structured prayer. Once again, the acronym PRAY stands for Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield.
Praise is all about giving God thanks for who They are and what They have done. This basically combines “Honor God” and “Thank God” from the HEART prayer method.
Repentance is about turning away from our sin and asking God to help us live holy lives. This step is necessary because we can’t come before God with a clean heart if we’re still clinging to our sin.
Ask is about asking God for help. We can ask Them for anything, big or small, and They will graciously answer us, even if the answer isn’t what we expect.
Yield is about giving God control of our lives and surrendering our plans to Their perfect will. Yielding is a hard step, but it’s an important one if we want to truly follow God.
Final Thoughts on Prayer Acronyms
While I typically follow the ACTS prayer method for myself, my actual prayer ends up more like the second HEART prayer method. After I confess my sin, I immediately ask God to help me avoid further sin. My supplication also includes prayer requests for others. I do like thanking God for my current blessings before I ask God for more blessings, which is why I stick with ACTS.
The ACTS prayer method is a great way to structure your prayers, but it’s not the only way. If you’re looking for a way to add structure to your prayers, try one of these prayer acronyms, and see how it goes!
The important thing is that you take the time to talk to God and to listen for Their voice. However you choose to pray, do it with an open heart and mind, expecting great things!