Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of our relationship with the Lord is adoration. Far too often we think of worship as the music before or after preaching on Sunday mornings, but adoration and love are the foundation on which everything else must be built. There is model by which we can outline our prayers that has been developed directly from the format in which Jesus prayed, and it goes like this:
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication (prayer requests)
When Jesus taught the disciples to pray with the Lord’s prayer, these are the four themes He taught them to pray, and in that order. Prayer, of course, is not a science and we should not sacrifice the vulnerability and rawness of a real conversation with God in order to walk through these four steps ritualistically. If you are extremely excited, then pray a prayer of excitement and praise! If you are broken and hurting, then pour out your sorrow to God. But by-in-large, we must remember to keep a balance of these realities in our prayer life lest we get imbalanced and neglect part of our relationship with God.
An imbalance of adoration neglects the personal side of a relationship. Have you ever had someone who just worships you, follows you around and is creepy? To be imbalanced in confession neglects grace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit – a life of asceticism, typically. It is difficult, in my opinion, to be too thankful, but if you neglect confession, adoration and requests, then you are not experiencing the transformation of the Spirit through conviction. Lastly, many of us live in the imbalance of supplication. Our prayers are almost completely a list of requests – and many of them we do not even pay attention to see the answer!
We must be balanced and our prayers must be representative of a holistic, healthy relationship. Praise God today. Confess your sins to Him today. Thank Him today, for all He has done and for prayers answered. And lastly, bring your needs to Him. Trust Him. Love Him. He is your Heavenly, perfect Father.
“I love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.”
– Ps 18.1-3