By Susan Abernethy
Whenever I used the acrostic ACTS to pray – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication - I would stumble in going from the Confession part to Thanksgiving.
Adoration was easy. We can all think of ways to praise God. For His creation, His attributes, how we’ve seen Him work in our lives such as Protector, our Warrior in battles, Father, Savior and on and on. No problems there.
Confession was easy in the sense that I’m far from perfect and fully aware of that fact. I can easily see where I’ve fallen short or been disobedient. Easy also because I can see God as my loving Father who is always ready and willing to forgive me. Confessing was not a problem. Painful, yes. Confusing, no. I do have to admit that if I was honest and really did a thorough job, I would feel a bit low some days. On others I would feel unworthy.
Trying to get into a happier state to move on to Thanksgiving most times, quite honestly, would be a struggle. It always felt like something was missing in between - a missing step. I remember praying about this, asking God for a solution and some guidance.
That’s when He gave me the idea to turn Confession into two parts. The first part of confession would remain the same. Agreeing with God about my sins, naming them and repenting. (Not just a one-size-fits-all, “Forgive me, God, for all my sins.”) He showed me how the second part was just as valuable as the first. It was still agreeing with Him, but this time it was confessing in a different way. It was agreeing about who I am and am becoming.
It’s just as important that we fully understand our righteous standing with Him through Christ. You and I are loved. We’re cherished. We are also adopted sons and daughters of the King. Heirs to His riches. We are part of His family. Lavished with spiritual gifts and with power to do mighty things in His name and for His glory through the Holy Spirit. Even better, the list can go on and on.
It solved my problem. By the time I finished doing a good job with my Confession Part 2, it was easy, smooth and effortless to slide right into Thanksgiving with joy. Then beyond that with Supplication: Praying for needs for myself and others. The missing step had been solved.
I hope this helps you as much as it has me.