Gathering One-2-One For Prayer
What does it mean to gather one-to-one to pray together? Just meet with another believer, read a passage of the Bible together, and start praying!
The ACTS Method
What follows below is an introduction of the ACTS Method for prayer, a simple, four-step approach used by many churches and Christians to organize their prayers. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. When gathering one-to-one for prayer, you simply take turns, each praying a prayer of adoration, then each praying a prayer of confession, and so on.
Prayers of adoration are prayers of worship and praise for who and what God is and what he has done. They recount and magnify God’s nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and they marvel at God’s mighty work, in the Bible, and in one’s own life. They glorify God for his attributes—that is, praising him for his power, his sovereignty, his knowledge, his goodness, and so on.
Prayers of confession look inward, admitting our sins and our failures to God and casting them before him so that he might forgive us and heal us. They tell God the things we’ve done that we shouldn’t have, the things we didn’t do that we should have, and the ways we have failed to love God as we should or loved others as ourselves. They ask our Father, who disciplines his children, to forgive us and make us holy.
Prayers of thanksgiving express our gratitude for what God has done for us, personally. They remember specific ways in which God has provided for us recently and long ago. They are where we “count our blessings” in God’s presence and tell him how grateful we are. They contrast what and where we are in our lives now, with God’s help, with what and where we would be without him.
Prayers of supplication ask God for help or for blessings. They admit how needy we are for God’s help and how utterly lost and helpless we would be without him. They bring cares, concerns, and needs before God’s throne and lay them there, asking for his kindness and mercy in dealing with them.
What Happens At A Meeting?
Gathering one-to-one for prayer has eight steps:
- Open in prayer. One person thanks God and asks for the Holy Spirit to help you pray.
- Read a Bible passage aloud.Either take turns meeting-by-meeting, or break up the passage so each person reads.
- Adoration. Each person briefly shares some things he or she would like to praise God for. Then, take turns praying prayers of praise to God for who he is and what he has done.
- Confession. Each person briefly shares some ways in which he or she has sinned or needs help repenting. Then, take turns admitting these sins and failures to God and asking for his forgiveness and help.
- Thanksgiving. Each person briefly shares some things that he or she is grateful to God for. Then, take turns thanking God for what he has done for the other person, and for you.
- Supplication. Each person briefly shares some needs, cares, and concerns that he or she would like prayer for. Then, take turns bringing one another’s requests to God for help.
- Schedule the next meeting.Date, time, and place!
- Close in Prayer.The person who didn’t pray to start thanks God for hearing and answering prayer.
Going Deeper With One-To-One Prayer
If you’re looking for a different way to pray than the ACTS method, Donald Whitney wrote an excellent book called Praying the Bible which introduces a simple and powerful way to pray through Bible passages, especially the Psalms. It’s such an excellent book that we highly recommend you buy a copy and use it to help you.
Why Not Start This Week?
Simply download a Gathering One2One Study Outline for Prayer below, print it out, ask someone to join you, pick a passage, and start reading together! Links:
(Two pages, formatted for 8.5 x 11 paper, printed double-sided in landscape orientation and flipped on short edge, and folded in half)
(Two pages, formatted for 8.5 x 11 paper, printed double-sided in portrait orientation and flipped on long edge. Can be three-hole-punched)
(PDF file, formatted especially for viewing on tablets and smartphones)
(One page, formatted for 8.5 x 11 paper, printed in portrait orientation)