Great are You, O Lord, and Greatly to be Praised

A pastoral prayer using the ACTS model. Offered on April 26, 2020 at Grace Bible Church in Escondido, CA. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a video of the prayer, Scripture reading, and sermon was made available online for the congregation.

I crafted the prayer using the ACTS acrostic adopted by many Christians as a guide to prayer. Each letter in the acrostic stands for an important element of prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.


Great are you, O Lord,
and greatly to be praised.
Your greatness is unsearchable.

Who is a God like you,
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?

Who on the earth can compare to you, O Lord?
Who among the creatures in heaven is equal to you?
O Lord God Almighty, who is a mighty God like you?

You alone are God!
You are the King eternal, immortal, invisible.

Adoration

Father, we adore you as the Sovereign Lord.
You are the Almighty God,
the maker of heaven and earth.

Lord Jesus Christ, we adore you
as the eternal Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God of God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God.

For us and for our salvation,
you came down from heaven
and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit —
eternal God in our very flesh.

We praise you as our exalted Redeemer,
our Mediator at God’s right hand.
Your very presence in heaven
is your intercession for us.

Holy Spirit, we adore you,
the Comforter sent from the Father and the Son.
You have been given to us in order to bring us
into the full enjoyment of our salvation.

Our great and awesome Triune God,
we worship and glorify you this morning.

Confession

Gracious God and Father of mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you.
Who among us would want to list all of their faults?
We all offend, in many different ways,
and our sins are more numerous
than the hairs of our head.

We have every reason to be humbled
for the pride of our hearts, which has deceived us.
We’ve thought of ourselves more highly
than we ought to think.
We’ve not made an honest, sober
evaluation of ourselves.
We’ve not walked humbly with you, our gracious God.

We confess that we’ve sinned against
our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We’ve not studied carefully
the things that make for peace.
We’ve failed to do all within our power
to build up and encourage others.
We’ve been all too ready to judge
and have forgotten that we will all soon
stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Where we’ve wronged each other,
lead us into a path of humility,
confessing our wrongdoing
and seeking forgiveness and peace,
as much as it depends on us.

Merciful Father,
forgive our pride and selfishness.
For your name’s sake,
pardon our iniquity, for it is great.
Turn to us and be gracious to us.
Wash us thoroughly and cleanse us from our sin.

O Father, even as we confess our sin to you,
we remember that you are good
and always ready to forgive,
more ready to forgive than we are to confess.

We take heart knowing
that we have an advocate in heaven,
Jesus Christ the Righteous One,
he is the propitiation for our sins.

We put our trust in your promise
that if we confess our sins,
you are faithful and just
to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

How blessed we are
that our transgression is forgiven
and our sin covered
because of the shed blood
and perfect righteousness
of Christ our Savior.

Thanksgiving

Our steadfast and faithful heavenly Father,
we thank you for the riches
of your mercy and grace.

We revel in the peace we have with you
since we’ve been justified in your sight
through faith in your Son.

We thank you for your continued presence
with us during these trying days.
We’re grateful that you are not a God
who is far off but a God who is near
in the person of your Son
and through the indwelling presence
of the Holy Spirit.

Supplication

O God, we thank you that by and large
this church has been spared from the virus.
Continue to protect us
and keep us healthy and strong.

Father, we pray for healthcare workers
and others on the front lines
of serving the sick and the suffering.
Give them energy. Sustain them
as they work long hours.

Give wisdom to our elected officials
and other national, state, and local leaders.
O Lord, may they use their position and authority
to serve the common good.

Our God, we ask that we would
soon be able to meet again as a church.
We long to gather in your presence
to lift up one voice in praise and prayer,
to sit under the preaching of your Word,
and to come to the Lord’s Table.

Grant us patience, O God.
Enable us to be both
faithful Christians
and obedient citizens.

Your Word instructs us to live wisely in this world.
Grant us your wisdom.
Help us to live in a godly manner,
that we might adorn the gospel of Jesus Christ
and give no reason to the world
to accuse us of being troublemakers.

O God, help us
not to be enamored with foolish controversies;
not to be distracted by unhelpful conspiracy theories.

May we give ourselves to prayer.
May we strengthen ourselves in your Word.
May we seek to love and serve and bless
our families, our congregation, and our neighbors.

May the gospel continue to sound forth
from Grace Bible Church in creative ways.
We ask that people would happen upon
our YouTube channel and SermonAudio page,
and that they would hear your Word,
turn from their sin, and put their trust in Christ.

Conclusion

Fulfill now, O Lord,
our desires and petitions
as may be best for us us
and in a way that brings you much glory.

We offer these prayers
in the strong name of Jesus Christ,
our Savior. Amen.