Praying Scripture!

November 2, 2013

Two years ago, I began the development of Prayer Prompter. My original concept for a prayer app was to have two separate sections, one for Scripture passages organized by topic and the other one for prayer requests. The first mockup looked like this: Sometime later, I changed the name of the top section from “Scripture Meditation” to “God Speaks to Me…” which was the shortened form of “God speaks to me through His Word”. I wanted to encourage users (and myself) to “hear from God” by reading passages of Scripture, thinking about them and using them as the basis for prayer.

The first few folders in the top section follow the “ACTS” prayer method; Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. ACTS has been part of my prayer life as long as I can remember. It helps me to pray in an orderly and logical fashion.

Recently, I started wondering where and when the ACTS prayer method originated but I couldn’t find anything, at least, not until I heard about a book published in 1710 by Puritan pastor Matthew Henry, called “A Method for Prayer”. His method can be summarized as follows:

1 – “Address to God and Adoration of Him”
2 – “Confession of Sin and Declaration of Repentance”
3 – “Petition and Supplication” (for oneself)
4 – “Thanksgiving for the Mercies of God”
5 – “Intercession and Supplication to God for others”
6 – “Conclusion of our Prayers”

Do you see the ACTS pattern in his “method”? I sure do. The only difference is that “supplication” is broken into two parts, praying for oneself and praying for others. So, it appears that the ACTS method for organizing prayer is more than 300 years old!

Theologian, Puritan scholar and author Dr. Joel Beeke said recently, “The Puritans prayed out of hearts saturated with Scripture. They especially delighted in turning promises into prayers. William Gurnall said, ‘Prayer is nothing but the promise reversed.’ He also said, ‘The mightier any is in the Word, the more mighty he will be in prayer.’ This pattern of praying the Scriptures culminated in Matthew Henry’s book, A Method for Prayer, where he collects hundreds of Scriptures under different headings to guide the Christian in prayer.” (An excerpt from the blog post, “Pray Like a Puritan”, written by Tim Challies at

So, after almost two years of working on Prayer Prompter, I just realized something that should have been obvious to me from the beginning. The top section of Prayer Prompter is all about — Are you ready for this? — praying Scripture! As a result of this amazing discovery, I am changing the title of the top section to — and this should come as no surprise! — “Praying Scripture”. I am also changing the title of the bottom section to “Petition/Intercession”. These new titles will be part of the next upgrade of Prayer Prompter. Once that upgrade is released, new users of Prayer Prompter will get the revised titles and, for them, the Home screen (dashboard) will look like this:

Praying Scripture-Petition/Intercession

Note: If you are already using Prayer Prompter, the upgrade will not change your existing titles but, if you want to change them yourself, check out “Get Started>How To” on the website or “How-To” in the “Help Topics section of Prayer Prompter.)

Previous post:

Next post: