"P is for Praise"
You’ve heard the expression, “count your blessings.” It is perhaps the single greatest and simplest of all prayer principles. Human nature is to focus on the negatives and overlook the innumerable, immeasurable positives. “Woe is me,” you might pray. “Lord, I need help with this [again]!” Rather than inviting the Lord into your midst in prayer, you instead drag Him into your pity party.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me: such prayers of a broken spirit are acceptable to God (Psalm 61:1-2); however, if the totality of your prayer time is spent in a gripe session, then it is lacking in quid pro quo – which is to say, your prayers are all “take” and no “give.”
What are you to “give” to God in prayer? The very first words that leave your lips when you open up a dialogue with the Most High should be those of praise. (Psalm 136) Thank Him for this day. Thank Him for your life. Thank Him for being God and for carrying you through your struggles: today, yesterday, and every moment in between. Thank Him for loving you, for sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within you, and for putting up with you. Thank Him that, through no worth of your own, He was willing to send His Son to die in your place and take the punishment you and I both know we deserve. (John 3:16)
When your prayers begin with praise, you are setting the proper tone with God for everything else you need to bring before His throne.
Take a few quiet moments now and give praise to your Father in Heaven. Start “counting your blessings.” You may find it difficult to stop.