As a child, the acronym ACTS was a tool that helped me learn how to pray. The A stood for adoration, C for confession, T for thanksgiving, and S for supplication. Though I have explored many different kinds of prayer since then, “ACTS” has stayed with me through the years. And as an adult, I find that the A, C, and T come more easily to me than the S.
Psalm 30 describes how its writer cries to God for help, making supplication. In a time when the psalmist needs God most, he draws on the strength of their relationship. God heals and saves, then the psalmist praises and proclaims God’s good deeds.
Making supplication doesn’t always come so naturally for me. Supplication brings up so many questions. What does it mean if God doesn’t answer my petition? Am I being selfish when there are others with more pressing needs? My supplication often asks for wisdom and guidance but doesn’t always reflect a bold trust that if I ask, I shall receive.
The psalmist encourages me to understand supplication as a way to call God into relationship with me, one where I acknowledge God as my helper and healer and I, in turn, acknowledge my role as one who will praise and proclaim God’s goodness. This understanding doesn’t answer all my questions about the mystery of prayer. Instead, this refocuses my energy on being grateful for prayer that strengthens my relationship with my Creator.
How do your prayers of supplication reflect a mutual, trusting relationship with God? How do you fulfill your role as a proclaimer of God’s faithfulness?
God our Healer, I praise you for all the ways you have and continue to help me and make me whole. May my praises not be kept silent. Amen.