Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Matthew 6:9 ESV
ADORATION is loving worship of God and verbal delighting in God. Prayer must begin with this. We adore Him for His immeasurable greatness and for the beauty of who He is. God’s glory is the chief and final end of our life on earth.
[J.I. Packer] All right-minded praying starts with a long look God-ward and a deliberate lifting up of one's heart to give thanks and adoration.
When we enter a beautiful place, we adore its beauty. When we enter the presence of God, we must first adore Him. Now, why do we need to adore Him?
We adore Him because of who He is.
We adore Him because of His eternal, infinite, and majestic character. Psalm 86:8 says, There is none like you among the gods… Psalms 113:4-5 exclaims, The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high. We must pray Scripturally. When we read the Scriptures, we stand amazed at the beauty of who God is. When we meditate on the word, it is inevitable to praise Him. We compare the worthless, lifeless, and useless idols to the eternal, living, and sovereign Creator (Jeremiah 10:2-10).
“Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?Exodus 15:11 ESV
We adore Him for His Glorious Attributes.
Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.Romans 2:4-5 ESV
God is daily showing His goodness that we may repent and return to Him. The goodness that we receive is undeserved. To realize this during your meditation is a motivation to anchor our hearts toward adoring Him. Think about His patience and abundant lovingkindness. Our fellowship with the Triune God will never get closer to the throne of grace than when you adore and praise Him.
The psalmist says, I’ll glorify your name forever (Psalm 86:12). John Gill comments, Let us first look at His attributes… by celebrating the perfections of his nature, by giving him the glory of the works of his hands, by praising him for all favours, by devoting himself unto him, and by doing all things for his glory, and that for ever, in time as long as he lived, and to all eternity.
We adore Him for His Awesome Works
We do not only worship Him for who He is but also for what He has done. We should not limit His works in the creation or daily sustenance. What about providence? What about redemption? These are God’s works!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.Psalms 66:3 ESV
We acknowledge the work of God. If you are a believer, you have more reasons to adore Him in your prayers because of the great work which He has done through Christ to save you, and bring you back to Him. God loved and has chosen you in Christ. Christ graciously redeemed you from the guilt and shame of sin. The Spirit miraculously gave you life and brought you out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. Have you thought of this whenever you pray?
If we begin our prayer with adoration, we will really take a long look at God’s glory!
[A.W. Pink] In scripture, prayer includes much more than making a request, in its highest sense. The heart is drawn out in contemplating so the soul will prostrate in Him in worship and adoration.
Adoring God will have a healthy effect on your spiritual experience. When you adore Him, you turn away from yourself and gaze on Him in all His matchless loveliness and majesty… your whole spiritual life will suffer badly unless you frequently adore the beautiful King of heaven in your prayers.Benjamin Palmer (1818-1902)
But you cannot do all these things without meditation. You cannot adore Him if you won’t fix your eyes on His beauty. You can only have a long look at Him through meditation. So soak yourself and dive into the ocean of God’s precious word that you may utter praises to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit even in your prayers.
This blog post is based on our pastor’s message in Bella Vista last 12/22/21
Reference: Goodwin, T., & Palmer, B. (2007). What Happens When I Pray? Grace Publication Trust. (Original work published 1997)