Jesus replied, "You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind." Matthew 22:37 (NLT)
We've seen that true prayer is a heart-cry and not an intellectual exercise. But that doesn't mean we can't use our heads when it comes to prayer. In fact, we're called to love and honor God with all that He's given us, including our minds.
One way of doing this is by taking a strategic approach to our prayers, by breaking them down into different categories so we can get a better grasp on things. There are basically four different types of prayers, and we can easily remember them by remembering the acronym A.C.T.S.
"A" stands for adoration. This is the type of prayer where we express our understanding of how remarkable and magnificent God is. We could actually pray like this forever since God's majesty is endless.
"C" stands for contrition. When we offer a prayer of contrition, our hearts are humbled before God as we acknowledge and confess our sinfulness to Him. This is where we find cleansing and restoration for our souls.
"T" stands for thanksgiving. This type of prayer is pretty self-explanatory. It's when we deliberately thank the Lord for accomplishing something or providing something in our lives or in the lives of others.
"S" stands for supplication. Supplication is when we approach God, asking that He act on our behalf. We also offer supplication when we ask God to move in the lives of others.
We should also take note that these are set in a healthy order. When we start from the point of acknowledging God for who He is, it humbles us to acknowledge who we are, which naturally leads us to a place of gratitude. At that point, our requests will have been filtered through a greater understanding of His heart. What does it mean to love God with all your mind? How does prayer affect your mind and thoughts? How can you put into practice ?A.C.T.S.??the four mentioned areas of prayer?