I have recently started playing the acoustic and found quite a few good songs to start with.
The only prob is finding the right strumming pattern to fit - i ain't got the best of arm rhythms (god knows why not!) and some song don't have a clear sound to pick out. COMMENTS?
Gung-ho Mofo
If playing solo i use one that suits the singing, or if its with a drummer try using a pattern that fits the drums. Cant think of much else...
First thing would be to do some excercises to make sure you're strumming fluently by keeping your arm/wrist in constant motion, otherwise you'll end up with an inconsistent strum and lack flunecy.

Once you're confident with your strumming, finding out the rhythm for playing along with a particular song is more or less hit and miss if you can't straight out 'feel' the rhythm - something you might try is to strum along using a simple pattern, and when you miss a strum or get the rhythm wrong, you'll know - and use that as a kind of process of elimination thing.

I can draw something up on PowerTab for you if you want - a little excercise with a notated strum pattern to help get your strumming hand in sync and fluent. If you have PowerTab or GP5, that is.
yeah would have to get those programs first but thanks anyway.
i've kinda gone off your line of thinking but i guess it takes time?!
Gung-ho Mofo
Dude, excellent question. I too suffer heavily from not being able to find the strumming pattern in a song, what I've found is that by playing around with a few different patterns you start to get a feel for what sounds right and wrong and what makes the song flow. Still pretty crap at playing though so I'm probably not the best to be giving you advice.

Keep rocking man and I'm sure it'll come together.
^Well yeah, course it takes time... and you need patience. But you don't want to be lazy and just accept that 'it takes time' - there's things you can do to make that time shorter... have a fluent strum, a relaxed arm, good sense of rhythm.. and so on and so forth.

Sure, accept that it takes time, be lazy and wait for it to come to you... OR accept that it takes time, grab it with both hands and go to it by improving on the fundamentals like inner rhythm and fluency.

If you do decide to not take the path of least resistance and download PowerTab (Which is free, by the way).. then I'll be more than happy to draw you up a simple progression and pattern that'll help you on your way.