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The ACTS Method of Prayer

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17

Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian, especially in the times we are living. 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone, me included. With the pandemic, political division, racial protests, and economic troubles, we all need prayer to sustain us. To make my matters worse, I’ve had various health issues that required surgeries and extensive recovery this year. If it weren’t for the power of prayer, and the peace that comes from an active prayer life, I’d have lost my mind!

But how do we pray? What’s the best method?

There are no right answers to those questions, because prayer is personal and dynamic. God’s Spirit guides us in our prayers. But I have found a few ways to pray that have helped to keep my prayers purposeful, focused, and powerful. Today I’ll share the first of several methods–the ACTS method.

I’m not sure where I first learned about it, but I’ve been using ACTS for many years. I usually write my prayers in a journal. This helps to keep me from distraction, and it provides a way to go back and look at how faithful God has been in answering my prayers. I go through four phases of prayer, each one represented by the letters in the acronym “ACTS”.

A – Adoration

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” (Psalm 145:3)

“A” stands for adoration. I begin by adoring God and praising His character. I focus on WHO He is. This is about His attributes. For example, I offer praises to God for His wisdom, His grace, His faithfulness, His compassion, etc. Starting with praise helps to bring me into a proper mindset, one that isn’t focused on me and my wants or needs, but more on God. It leads me into a reverent attitude. It also guides me to the next phase–confession.

C- Confession

“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)

When I start my prayers focused on Him, I am then humbled by His greatness and character of holiness. I am able to see my shortcomings and failures in relationship to His perfection. I realize how sinful I truly am, in need of His saving power in my life. I’m better able to reflect and recall what I need to confess to Him.

Here I ask for forgiveness for things like my irritability, my neglect of important things, my disrespect and dishonesty. I pray over specific sins, such as a negative attitude, unsupportive things I’ve said to my husband, and inconsistencies in my life. Once I’ve done this, I’m brought to a place of thankfulness for His forgiveness.

T – Thankfulness

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)

Praying with a grateful attitude helps me to be content with what God has provided and to focus less on my troubles and concerns. This is different from adoration and praise. Now I’m focusing on WHAT God has done in my life, specific things that God has provided or accomplished, such as protection in a car accident, my family and home, and my job. I thank God for His healing power after my surgeries, and for the supportive friends He’s blessed me with. Or a more-than-expected tax return. I even thank God for the difficulties that help to grow me. Thankfulness then properly leads me to supplication, the final step in this method.

S – Supplication

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…” (Phil. 4:6)

Now that I’ve gone through the first three steps of adoring God’s character, confessing my sins, and thanking Him for His blessings, I’m ready to make my requests. Supplication means asking God to supply my needs and the needs of others. Here is where I intercede for others. Because I’ve gone through the others steps first, I’m in a better mindset to ask according to God’s will, not mine. I pray for my husband, my children, their safety, for neighbors, and my students. I ask for specific things regarding an upcoming event, or for my sons’ relationships. This week I’ve been praying especially for our nation and its troubles with Covid, politics, and injustices. Rather than seeing God as a vending machine who will give me what I ask for, I can now effectively pray for those things the Spirit puts upon my heart.

Praying the ACTS method is one of many ways to pray, but it is my favorite method. Its simple format is easy to remember and even easier to follow. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Check out my YouTube process video where I made a page in my Bible about this method.

Product Links:

Sweet’n Sassy Stamps

Sweet’n Sassy Stamps | MISTI Blog Hop

MISTI Hop
Welcome to Jules’ Jewels! Today, Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps is joining forces with My Sweet Petunia for an awesome blog hop and giveaway! There’s a chance to win a $50 gift code to each shop, so we hope you’ll join the fun and hop along with us! To be eligible for the drawing, leave a little shout out in the comments at each stop along the hop. The blog hop list is below, but be she to comment about the post and check out my YouTube process video, which is posted below, just above the product links.

BLOG HOP LINKS:

 
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Today is the day I’ve been dreading all summer–today I send my middle child off to college. He heads off to Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan to study engineering. That’s 1200 miles and 17 hours away from where we live in Tampa, Florida! My oldest is already a junior in college, but he’s only 90 miles away in Orlando.  Huge difference! I created a “release” Bible journaling page for him when he left for college, so I knew I needed to make something similar for Adam.

I love to document special moments and prayers in my Bible, much like scrapbooking. Here, I based my idea off of the t-shirt the university sent to him in his acceptance packet, which read, “World Changers Made Here.”

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So I went with that idea and used Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV):

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

I know that I am sending my son to a place where he’s going to learn and grow in God’s Word and wisdom, and that he will be empowered and equipped to CHANGE THE WORLD for Jesus.

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However, what gives me the most peace from this verse is that last part, where is says Jesus is always with us. I can’t be with Adam when he’s 1200 miles away–but Jesus can be and indeed IS WITH HIM! That’s good for my mama-heart!

I created this page using the Send Me stamp set from Sweet’n Sassy Stamps. I embossed the globe onto vellum card stock, and colored it with Faber Castell Pitt Big Brush Markers. I embossed Adam’s name on the vellum with the School Days Alpha stamp set.  I stamped the words GO CHANGE THE WORLD directly on my Bible page. For most of this stamping, I used my new Original MISTI stamping platform.  Not only did it help with the embossing and getting clean impressions, but it especially help to add a secure base while working in my chunky Illustrating Bible.

 
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You can see the entire process over on my YouTube channel using the link below.
 
 
 

Product Links (Most are affiliate)

 
 

Versamark Clear Watermark Ink http://shrsl.com/1r4xy

Ranger Black Embossing Powder http://shrsl.com/1r4xz

EK Success Powder Tool http://shrsl.com/x5tw

Aquabrushes http://shrsl.com/v3uo

Creative Retreat Ink Pads:  http://rwrd.io/n7ng7b9

(Denim, Waterfall, Powderpuff Blue)

Illustrating Bible http://shrsl.com/1pcaw  

Illustrating Bible Mat http://shrsl.com/1pcat

Tombow Clear Adhesive http://shrsl.com/zlq4

Craft Tweezers http://shrsl.com/1qn4l

Illustrated Faith Watercolor Paint set http://shrsl.com/k8m1

Heat Tool:  http://shrsl.com/w4jd

Micron Pen Size 03 Black http://shrsl.com/1oulh

Tab Punch http://shrsl.com/w4hx

Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher (Mini-Stapler) http://shrsl.com/1098y  

Illustrated Faith Tape Runner http://shrsl.com/yasj

Studio Calico Mega Date Stamper https://www.studiocalico.com/shop/mega-date-stamp-handlettered

Signo Uni-ball White Gel Pen http://shrsl.com/v3ur

Pitt Big Brush Pens: http://shrsl.com/1kvva (#110 Phthalo Blue, #153 Cobalt Turquoise, #264 Dark Phthalo Green)

Versafine Onyx Black Ink http://shrsl.com/1pc9s

Stamp Shammy Cleaner http://shrsl.com/117gc

 

 

“Sweet to the Soul” Giveaway

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Hey Ya’ll!  Today I’m excited to share with you the newest Faith Art Box from Creative Retreat Kits, entitled “Sweet to the Soul.”  This Bible journaling kit has all the elements to help you creatively worship as you delve into the topic of the power of words.

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I’m particularly excited about this kit because I wrote the devotional content.  My good friend, Angela Senechal, IG@maker_mom contributed the beautiful handlettering for the design.

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The kit comes with the devotional booklet, a 3×5 stamp set, a matching decor sticker sheet, an alphabet/numeral sticker sheet with a honeycomb design, and a beautiful coordinating washi tape.

You can catch my unboxing video over on my YouTube channel or using the link below.

I’m also giving away one of these kits.  Here’s what you have to do:  

  1. Like and comment below how someone has encouraged you with their words.

  2. Follow my blog
  3. For more entries, go to my Instagram @julesk.jewels and enter there.
  4. Giveaway ends Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 11:59pm.
  5. International entries must pay extra postage.

Thanks for joining me today!  I’ll see you soon.  I’ll be sure to share a video and project soon using this sweet kit.

Blessings to you!

Julie

Noel | Christmas in July Blog Hop

Hey everyone.  I’m so glad you’ve hopped over to my little world here at Jules Jewels.  I’m excited to be part of the Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps Christmas in July Blog Hop! Not only are you hopping with some fabulous members of our design team, but also some brand new affiliates.  (Did you know that Sweet’n Sassy recently opened up an affiliate program through shareasale.com, which means that anyone can promote Sweet’n Sassy Stamps and be rewarded? Maybe you want to consider that too?)  Since Christmas is a time of giving, we thought Christmas in July should be too! We’re hosting a drawing for a fantastic $50 gift code to the Sweet’n Sassy Stamps store from all of the comments at all of the stops along today’s hop. So be sure to leave a little love as you hop about!

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My project for this Christmassy hop challenged me–I live in Florida, and creating a winter scene while it was in the upper 90’s outside felt quite paradoxical! But once I began the crafting process, my creative side took over, and the inner angst was gone!  I loved creating this sunset scene in my hymnal on the page with the Christmas carol “The First Noel”.

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I used Ranger Distress Oxides for the colorful background. I began with Wild Honey at the bottom, then worked my way up, blending Ripe Persimmon, then Barn Door, and finally Dusty Concord for the combination of colors.  I used Ranger Blending tools to get the deep rich hues of the inks.  Then I spritzed water over the page to get a slight oxidation and spottiness.

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I stamped the tree silhouettes at the bottom of the page using the “Thrill of Hope” stamp set.  I also stamped around the page the moon, the deer, and the small word “NOEL”, also from that same set.  Next, I used the Script Outline Alpha set to stamp “NOEL” in the center of the page.  I colored the letters in with a black Pitt Big Brush Marker, and then shadowed them with a white gel pen.  I finished the page by lightly splattering some watered-down white acrylic paint over the trees to create a snowy effect.

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Nothing gets me more in the Christmas spirit than a good, old-fashioned Christmas carol, and this project did just that!

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We’re also kicking off a Christmas in July sale today! Through July 31, all stamp sets in our Christmas and Winter categories are 25% off. No code is needed! Now’s the perfect time to get a jump start on those holiday projects!  You can pick up the Thrill of Hope set that I used, or any number of other beautiful Christmas or Wintertime sets.

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Here are the other blogs for your hopping pleasure.  Make sure to comment at each one in order to enter to win the $50. The deadline to comment is July 31 at 11:59pm.  Happy hopping!

Sweet ‘n Sassy Blog
Julee Tilman
Bev Gerard
Ceal Pritchett
Dina Kowal
Gayle Bond
Giovana Smith
Jane Bosi
Jeanne Streiff
Lee Ann Barrett
Lyn Tomlin
Monika Davis
Sheri Gilson
Stephanie Serrano