Just recently I have sensed the Lord convicting me that I am all too quick to run into His presence and begin my list of prayer requests. It’s so easy to come before Him with a shopping list. As the Holy Spirit brought that recognition, at the same time came the realisation of how sad that must make God feel.
Of course He’s interested and wants to hear what’s on our hearts, but wouldn’t we feel used and sad if someone regularly wanted us simply for what we could do for them? We’re made in God’s image, and the desire we all have for genuine relationships based on who we are, and formed through taking the time and effort to get to know one another, comes from God’s heart. He wants us to spend time with Him, relating with Him for who He is.
I remembered the acrostic model for prayer I learned years ago, ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Just as Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s prayer, ‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name’, adoration comes first: adoring God, not for anything He has done or can do for us, but adoring Him simply for who He is.
The dictionary definition of ‘adoration’ is: deep love and respect, worship, veneration. To adore means: to love, glorify, praise, revere, extol, esteem, magnify. When we take a moment to stop and think about how magnificent, how awesome, how amazing our God is, it’s our natural heart’s response to adore Him, to give Him the adulation He deserves, to want to glorify His name and in so doing bring joy to His heart.
And I love the chorus: ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will become strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.’(Helen H. Lemmel) It’s so true! As we look up to Him and bring Him our worship, not only does it delight His heart, but something happens in ours too. Our whole perspective changes: what was big becomes small, and what was small becomes big. The cares and concerns, the issues we were facing that seemed like insurmountable obstacles blocking life’s path, suddenly seem less important, and we are reminded again of who our God is, just how great and mighty He is, how precious is His love for us and how utterly safe we are in His care.
I decided to take some worship songs and use them as prayers. Perhaps you might like to join me:
I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.
I give You all the honour
And praise that’s due Your name
For You are the King of Glory
The creator of all things
And I worship You
I give my life to You
I fall down on my knees...
Holy and anointed one
Risen and exalted One, Jesus. ...
You deserve the glory
You deserve the glory and the honour
Lord we, lift our hands in worship
As we praise your Holy name...
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