I still try to use it today for my morning prayers. But I struggle with one thing. Well, a few things, really. But one that's really bothering me lately.
I sit down to pray at 5:30 in the morning when I finish my daily bible reading. I find that I have a hard time confessing my sins when I'm sitting to pray. Maybe it's because it's 5:30 in the morning and I just can't remember what sins I committed the day before. I've been praying that God would show me my sins so that I can work on them. And He has been. And I have been. But still, at 5:30 when I sit to pray, I just can't list off my shopping list of sins and confess them.
I much prefer to confess my sins when they immediately become apparent to me. I shout in anger at my husband. I let a bad word out of my mouth when getting cut off by the driver in front of me. Or when God reveals a big sin to me, I spend some time in reflection and prayer about that.
But on a daily basis, to have my sins at the tip of my tongue, that's just not me.
Scripture tells us that God hears our prayers after we confess our sins (forgive me for not having the reference here ...). So if I'm not confessing my sins every morning when I sit to pray for my family and my day and all the other prayer requests around me, is God not hearing my prayers????
A couple other thoughts on the ACTS prayer model.
I find that I spend the day in constant reflection and prayer. Either minor requests all day long:
"Lord, please remove this pain."
"Lord, be with Logan as he undergoes this treatment."
"Lord give me the strength to endure yet another day of work."
You get the idea.
I also find that I thank God when I see His blessings bestowed upon me.
"Thank you Lord for the rain."
"Thank you Lord for my daughter's laughter."
Just quick one-liner prayers sent up to God.
I tend to adore God in the same way, but I think not quite as frequently as my thanksgivings and requests.
Is this what Paul means in 1 Thessalonians 5:17?
So this prayer model I learned years ago......
Do I use it? Yeah. I keep it as a guide of the things I need to address when I pray. I try to touch on all 4 aspects in all my prayers throughout the day. Do I touch on all 4 every time I sit and pray? No. It's helpful, however, at 5:30 in the morning, to have a guide to follow so I can focus. 5:30 is early!!!