Praying from a Posture of Reverence
Written by: Cathy Durrenberg
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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice
it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
- Psalms 111:10 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.
- Hebrews 12:28
When I was growing up in the 80’s we prayed a rote prayer to God at dinner and rarely talked about Him throughout the week. Sunday mornings were usually set aside for church, but any relational component was absent.
In contrast, a few months ago I was shopping at Hobby Lobby and a young guy started a conversation with me in the check out line. He was excited to talk about “Daddy God” and how his “Papa” was changing his life.
When I got in my car I couldn’t help but reflect on how the different generations respond to God. Both are valid but how should we address God when we pray? Here are a few thoughts to consider…..
First, God, the Father, is Who we pray to.
In Luke 11 Jesus shows the disciples how to pray and He opens with “Our Father, hallowed be thy name.” Hallowed means revered, adored, and glorified. Jesus was modeling respect and proper attitude when praying to the Father. There was nothing flippant or informal about this. He was talking to His Father and showing Him the reverence and honor He deserves.
In the Old Testament Moses had an interaction with God that speaks to His awesomeness: “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God” (Exodus 34:29). For me it is difficult to imagine the emotions he was having after encountering and spending time with God, but I do imagine his life was never the same. When praying do we come before Him with the reverence and honor He deserves?
Second, have you ever wondered why we pray “In Jesus’ name”?
Several passages in the Bible address this and here is an example…“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). Without a relationship with Jesus, a person is not “right” with God, therefore, those prayers will not be heard or answered. “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him” (John 9:31). It is only through the saving grace of Jesus that we can come to the Father, so we acknowledge our faith in Him as we pray. Through Jesus we are given access to God!
On a side note, make no mistake that God always answers prayers that are in alliance with God’s own, perfect will (Matt. 26:39). Be careful not to think that God's answer is always in agreement with your request!
Finally, the Holy Spirit enters into our lives when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and becomes our helper, friend, counselor, and advocate.
We must confess that our sins need forgiven and that we can’t live without Him. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us to the Father when words escape us. He is our constant companion and we are never alone!
As I mentioned at the beginning, our perspectives of God may vary. How we pray and address Him may be determined by the teachings and education we have received along with influences in our lives. Always remember...we worship an awesome God who desires a relationship with us, so seek Him daily in order to grow closer to the One who saves!
1. Do my prayers reflect an accurate understanding of God’s character and will?
2. How do I approach God in prayer? Does it align with His Word?
Lord, God, thank You for loving me as I am, but do not let me remain unchanged. I desire to grow in my faith and to know You better. Each day please open my eyes to Your will and Your ways. Help me mature in my reverence of You and, also, better understand the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who sacrificed His life for mine. It’s in His name I pray, amen.
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