This series of articles is for those who sense that God is transitioning them into a new season – a season of more. Positioning ourselves before God is the prerequisite step in our knowing His purpose and plans for the coming season. It is also the place where He prepares us for our new assignment.

It is no coincidence that God has made prayer man’s most powerful weapon in the battle for the kingdom. This is the place where God is most intimate in revealing His plans and encouraging His children. As we battle with Him through prayer, He establishes His relationship with us. There is no more important thing we can do in our preparation for the next season.

Prayer (deēsis): Need, indigence, want, privation, extreme poverty; a seeking, asking, entreating, entreaty to God or to man. From deomai: to want, lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg; the thing asked for; to pray, make supplications. Outline of Biblical Usage,

There are three things to notice about the definition of prayer. First, it is more about need than want. Second, that need is out of an extreme sense of poverty (i.e., it is humble). Third, prayer includes seeking and desiring – its relational aspects.

Changing the Way We Pray

Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. It is the only way we can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Prayer is difficult because our enemies do not want us communicating with God. Satan is a powerful being. An opposing power is needed – God’s power. Is it possible that our prayer life lacks God’s power because we do not pray in the way God has designed? Have we chosen our own way in prayer?

In his book, The PAPA Prayer, Larry Crabb discusses how many in the church turn to God in prayer as if He were Santa Claus sitting behind a vending machine. If we just put in the right change (our time) and push the right buttons (our requests), He will give us what we want. As Crabb laments, this approach has drawn us far from God’s intention in our prayer time with Him: To establish and nurture an intimate relationship.

Practicing the PAPA Prayer

As Larry Crabb says, “Once you get a feel for it, praying relationally comes as naturally as breathing. Relating to God is what we were destined and designed to do. The most important thing is to be honest with God in each of the following areas.”

Present yourself to God: With authentic transparency, present whatever you discover in yourself – good or bad. Are you happy, sad, or mad? Disappointed or depressed? Be who you are, where you are.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Have you ever considered that “in time of need” just might be in our prayer time? Humble children come as they are; and they trust their Father to receive them. Pretending can actually be a sign of pride.

Attend to how you are thinking of God: Focus on who God really is versus who you think God is, or who you want Him to be. Meditate on His name: El Elyon (Most High God), Adonai (Master), El Shaddai (God Almighty), Elohim (Eternal Creator).

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Matthew 6:9

Purge yourself of anything that blocks your relationship with God: Eliminate whatever is blocking your intimacy with God by acknowledging, without excuse or explanation, the self-obsession that the Spirit chooses to reveal. Begin by surrendering to His reign, followed by confession and repentance.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

Approach God as the “first thing” in your life: Lay aside everything but God. Focus on Him as the only provider of truly good things. As you put Him first, you can then approach Him with the confidence that what He loves to give you is what you need the most.

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:32-33

To receive the full blessing of the PAPA Prayer, use it to begin your prayer time, each morning, for at least 30 days. Initially, you should go through each step multiple times, and as many times as possible during the day. In this way, you will renew your mind to pray more relationally.

Each step in the PAPA Prayer may expose a need for confession and repentance: For trying to hide your true feelings, for presuming Him to be something less than He is, for allowing things or people to come between you, or for making Him anything less than first. The conversation you have with Him in these areas will deepen and strengthen your relationship.

The PAPA Prayer will not only change the way you pray; it will change the way you relate to God. Ultimately, it will open the channels of communication – that you will know God and His purpose for your next season.

Humbly yours and forever His,


P.S. This is a good time to stress that God’s time of preparation for you will not likely match the timing of these articles. Don’t rush the process. God knows what you need, and how best to give it to you.