A = Adoration – praising God for His attributes and character
C = Confession – of sin
T = Thanksgiving – for what God’s done
S = Supplication – praying for myself and others
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4 NIV
I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done. Psalm 22:22 TLB
Adoration (praise) simply means to adore, esteem and honor God by focusing on His attributes and character. Most of us are not in the habit of using adoration when we pray so it may seem a little weird at first, but like with anything else, the more you practice it the more confident you’ll become.
In his classic book Too Busy Not To Pray, Bill Hybels says “adoration sets the tone for the entire prayer.”
Sometimes I go thru an Alphabet of Praise – using letters of the alphabet to ascribe honor to Him. Of course, the letters “q”, “x”, and “z” aren’t the easiest, but don’t worry about that. Here’s an example: “Father, I praise You because You are Awesome, Beautiful, my Creator, Dynamic, Everlasting, Faithful, Good….”
Men, if this feels a little weird, remember a couple of things: a) it’s best to pray in private even though we need to pray with one another, b) focus on power terms if you struggle with others; ie use words or phrases like: You are my Armor, Courageous, my Defender, Mighty, Powerful, my Shield & Strength, Victorious, Warrior.
Another way that helps me focus on God’s attributes is reading a Psalm and thinking on one or many of the characteristics revealed in that Psalm. Try taking Psalm 103 and write down the attributes of God you see and praise Him for them.
Adoration is a great place to start because it helps us acknowledge and focus on God’s greatness and lines up with the model Jesus gave us for beginning our time of prayer.