This post is part of a series.
Yet another acronym for prayer, this study method is very popular, in part because of how easy the acronym is to remember.
Spend time praising God. This pushes our earthly concerns to the periphery and refocuses us on the love, power, and care of God that we believe in.
Scripture recommends that we regularly confess our sins to God (and to one another!) so that we can start afresh in our inner lives. Consider these examples:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. ~ Proverbs 28:13 ESV
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. ~ Psalm 32:2-5 ESV
Attempting to be thankful can reveal the real state of our heart, uncovering our hurts and bitterness. But if we forsake them through allowing ourselves to shift towards being truly thankful for Jesus’ and his provision for our sins and a future of eternal life, goodness can fill our souls again.
Now that our hearts are clean and re-oriented to believing and trusting God, we can ask God for what’s in our hearts – not that we will get all that we ask for, but that we have the opportunity to tell God about our desires, both pure and not so pure, and enter into a further dialog with our father who loves us and wants to give us good things – not just the bare minimum, but like a father, things that may just make us happy. Consider these passages:
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. ~ Matthew 7:7-9 NLT
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. ~ Psalm 37:4 NLT
Also, this is the time to pray for others. For a good overview of this, see How to Pray the Lord’s Prayer, Section 2 (“Thy Kingdom Come”).