ACTS… its more than a word… it literally is action. It’s also the book of the Bible that we chose to focus on this year on the Bangladesh GUP. More than that… its a style of prayer I learned while on the GUP; one that I find is really kind of awesome (I mean all prayer is in its own ways).
ACTS prayer is made up of 4 parts (one for each letter- who would’ve guessed!?):
A(doration): to worship God, name praises, and fulfill the commandment to love God with all of our being.
C(onfession): when we repent and clear away all the obstacles that are preventing a healthy relationship between us and God.
T(hanksgiving): when we give thanks for all that God has done in our lives, and the ways He has pushed us to be better.
S(upplication): when we ask for what we need from God.
We did this prayer one morning in our journals (thanks to our Director Archi for showing us this style!!). It was through this prayer style that I was able to face parts of myself that I don’t really like to face and so usually just avoid.
The Adoration section was easy… I love God, and I love to name all the ways that He is amazing. He is Comforter, All-Powerful, Healer, Grace-Giver, Sovereign Lord (which says more than two words might seem), Creator, Sustainer, Nurturing Father… and so much more.
Confession was harder. Confessing and repenting that I have trust issues was not, and is not an easy thing to admit… because in a way admitting it is almost like knocking it down a peg. To trust people with the knowledge and vulnerability that you have issues in general- let alone trust issues- well it almost seems crazy to think about. I used to say that I trust God, I just don’t trust people. But I think I’ve mentioned this before, one thing I realized in this experience is that’s not really possible… I believe there is a piece of God in each and every one of us, a small glimpse at the amazing entity, its what makes us good, and loving, and compassionate, and why we are so uncomfortable with sin- because engaging in sin is like stabbing at that piece of God in us. So if I trust God, and God is in people, then I kinda need to trust people– otherwise I can’t really say I trust God. I also worry that there is something about myself that drives others away– like the leper that Jesus healed, I believed there was something inherently wrong with me, and so I believed that people hated me and that I was a burden much of the time. But Jesus healed the leper, and sent him back to the community. I need healing too– and actually in writing this I think I just got an answer to a question I’ve been struggling with- IVCF is the community I need to go back to, because they are the community I felt rejected by in some instances, even though I wasn’t… I was never actually a leper, I just thought I was.
Thanksgiving … this part of the prayer makes me cry… I think because I can’t really express in words how thankful I am to God for all that he has done in my life. My heart decides that tears will convey it much better than words. A few things I was able to articulate were: I am thankful to God for pushing me in directions that make me uncomfortable. I am thankful for the wisdom in myself and others that God has granted us to use in order to discern throughout life. I am thankful for friendships God has placed in my life and for God having people show they care.
Supplication was hard as well… because as hard as it is to admit you have issues, its even harder to admit you need help… and then to ask for it. I need strength, I need courage, I need trust, grace, perspective, patience and so much more. And I pray to God that he grants these things unto me, so that I may use these gifts in ways that better his kingdom.