Acts: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication

An Interactive Service of Scripture, Song, and Prayer

As Christians we often struggle with how to pray communally. Simply, it is hearing God speak to us in God’s Word and through God’s creation and then responding. This service was written to help the body engage in the dialogue of prayer together following the simple acronym ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. The service is designed to focus first on God. As we focus on how great God is and on the wonders of God’s salvation, we are drawn to confess our sins and failures. Standing in wonder of the forgiveness God offers when we confess, we rejoice and offer thanksgiving. Finally we recognize our need for God in all areas of life and bring our requests to God, knowing God is faithful and good.


Welcome and Greeting

The service flows unannounced from this point.


Reader: “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long” (Psalm 71:23–24).

Song: “Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns” LUYH 261 (vs. 1, 5), PsH 539, TH 369

A Call to Worship

Let all who love God come rejoicing.

God is in His heaven.

To the Almighty praises voicing!

God is in His heaven.

All nature does to God belong, yet we, God’s children, own the song that age to age has made us strong:

God is in His heaven.

There dawns no day but by God’s blessing.

God is in His heaven.

No night without the stars confessing:

God is in His heaven.

Within God’s hand God does contain all pow’r of sun, moon, wind, and rain, and watchful to God’s vast domain.

God is in His heaven.

Through all the years that are before us,

God is in His heaven.

His love forever reigning o’er us:

God is in His heaven.

Each season in its turn shall be a glimpse of God’s eternity; as God has been, so God shall be!

God is in His heaven.

—“A Call to Worship,” Jacqueline Hanna McNair, in Hymns for the Family of God, 340

Song: “Everlasting God” Brenton Brown

Alternative: “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” LUYH 579, PH 263, PsH 460, TH 38, WR 48, GtG 12

As the music fades, youth reader reads Isaiah 40:29–31:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Reader: “Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name’” (Psalm 66:1–4).

Song: “Shout To the Lord” LUYH 603, SWM 49, SNC 223, WR 94

Prayer of Adoration

We gather in your presence,

King of the Universe,

to acclaim your great salvation.

You have done marvelous things.

You rescued your people from sin and death,

through the mighty work of Jesus, your Son.

You send missionaries to the ends of the earth.

You raise up prophets to witness to justice.

You reveal your righteousness to the nations.

Send forth your Spirit, Lord;

renew the face of the earth.

The whole earth rejoices.

Waves crash over waves in echoes of praise.

Rivers proclaim your goodness

as they cascade against their beds.

Mountains, standing together as a chorus,

declare your faithfulness.

Wind whispering through the leaves makes music to you.

Creatures of all shapes and sizes join in the song.

Into this glorious harmony

send forth your Spirit, Lord;

renew the face of the earth.

We too raise our voices, Almighty God.

With all the earth, we shout for joy.

We burst into jubilant song

for the marvelous things you have done.

For your faithfulness, for your love,

for your salvation,

for the promise of your return in glory,

we make music to you, our Lord and King.

While we wait for your coming,

send forth your Spirit, Lord;

renew the face of the earth. Amen.

—Text based on Psalm 98 and Psalm 104:30, from The Worship Sourcebook 2nd edition, Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2013, © Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Song: “To God Be the Glory” LUYH 604 (vs. 1, 2)


Explain, if necessary, that “Kyrie eleison” and “Christe eleison” mean “Lord, have mercy” and “Christ, have mercy,” respectively.

Invite congregants to close their eyes during the time of confession, to echo the worship leader(s) throughout the song, and to listen to the prayers.

Call to Confession

Reader: “Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses. In every respect he was tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (SNC 55, based on Hebrews 4:15–16). Let us confess our sins to Almighty God in a moment of silent prayer.

Song: “Kyrie” LUYH 633, SNC 54

Prayer of Confession

Reader: “Most merciful God, whose son Jesus Christ was tempted in every way, yet without sin, we confess before you our own sinfulness: we have hungered after that which does not satisfy; we have compromised with evil; we have doubted your power to protect us. Forgive our lack of faith; have mercy on our weakness. Restore in us such trust and love that we may walk in your ways and delight in doing your will” (SNC 55, based on Hebrews 4:15–16).

Song: “Kyrie” LUYH 633, SNC 54

Song: “Remember Not, O God” LUYH 632 (vs. 1, 2), PFAS 79B, PsH 254, TH 488, GtG 430

Reader: “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God’” (Zech. 13:9).

Song: “Refiner’s Fire” Brian Doerkson

Alternative: “God, Be Merciful to Me” LUYH 623

Assurance of Pardon

Reader: “Those who love me, I will deliver, says the Lord; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation” (SNC 55, based on Ps. 91:14–16).

Spoken Response: “Alleluia! Alleluia! In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!”

Song: “And Can It Be” LUYH 695 (vs. 1, 4), PsH 267, TH 455, WR 366


Litany of Thanksgiving

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

Come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him and praise his name (Ps. 100:1–4).

Song: “Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart” WR 113, GtG 804

Song: “Give Thanks” LUYH 358, SNC 216, WR 359, GrG 647

Responsorial Thanksgiving

Scripture and Response: “Psalm 138” (with refrain sung to first line of ELLACOMBE)

Worship leader sings refrain once; congregation joins the second time.

Sung Refrain: “The day I called you answered me. I give you thanks, O Lord.”

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.

Sung Refrain: “The day I called you answered me. I give you thanks, O Lord.”

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth,

and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

Sung Refrain: “The day I called you answered me. I give you thanks, O Lord.”

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;

you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.

Do not forsake the work of your hands.

—English Standard Version

Sung Refrain: “The day I called you answered me. I give you thanks, O Lord.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Father, we thank you for the great gift of life,

that your love for us is not dependent upon any worthiness of ours,

for good health,

that we know neither hunger nor want,

for warm clothes to wear,

for those who love us best,

for friends whose words of encouragement have often chased away dark clouds,

for the zest of living,

for many answered prayers,

for kindly providence that has preserved us from danger and harm.

We thank you that we still live in a land bountifully able to supply all our needs, a land that by your providence knows peace, whose skies are not darkened by the machines of the enemy, whose fields and woodlands are still unblasted by the flames of war, a land with peaceful valleys and smiling meadows still serene.

O help us to appreciate all that we have, to be content with it, to be grateful for it, in a gratefulness that strives to be more worthy.

In your name to whose bounty we owe these blessings spread before us, to you we give our gratitude.


—Adapted from “Prayer of Thanksgiving,” taken from The Prayers of Peter Marshall, edited by Catherine Marshall. Copyright © 1976 by Catherine Marshall. Used by permission of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Offering: “Blessed Be Your Name” LUYH 343

Reader: Praise God, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings (adapted from Ephesians 1:3).

Song: “With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring” LUYH 585 (v. 1), PFAS 138A, PsH 183, TH 88, GtG 334


Intercessory Prayer

“Let Us Pray to the Lord” SNC 202

Worship leader and congregation may sing the refrain once before the prayer. During the prayer, the leader begins the refrain after each stanza, with the congregation responding.

Being Sent Out

Reader: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12–14).

Song: “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” LUYH 737 (vs. 1, 4), PsH 287, TH 688, WR 486

Reader: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4–7).

Song: “Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God” LUYH 746


Doxology: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” LUYH 964/965, PH 591/592, PsH 638, TH 731/732, WR 34/44/147


Deb Smit attends Manhattan Christian Reformed Church in Churchill, Montana. She is passionate about worship and is involved in leading by writing, planning, and playing piano, organ, or keyboard.

Reformed Worship 126 © December 2017, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.