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Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Perfect Prayer

“Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.”
Psalm 113:2-3 NIV

 It is a bit chilly this January morning, so I must enter the garden of my heart from my overstuffed green chair in our great room. My afghan is cozy and my coffee is steaming. I begin reading Psalm 113 and I am caught up in David’s praise for his LORD.
Immediately my heart whispers, Lord, I don’t praise you enough. How can I do this better? The Master Gardner responds, “Praise me and worship me all day and all night. Speak of your love for me and tell others why you love me. Just as you praise all those you love, just add me to your list and praise me as well. Worship and respect me and lift my name on high as you walk through your day. Take care not to move so fast because when you do you forget to look up. Look up into the sky and praise me! Worship me by your obedience. Whisper your gratitude in the marketplace; sing to the top of your lungs, songs of praise to me and worship me while driving to and from your responsibilities. Work at home and with others outside of your home in ways that bring honor and glory to my name. This, my child is “living” worship. Remember, your attitudes, integrity and character should be a reflection of me. Make sure I am honored as a result of your choices. Bringing honor to my name is an act of worship. Also, go alone to a quiet place and offer up your praise and worship to me. Paula, in my eyes this is a perfect prayer.”
As many times happens, during my quiet time God reveals things to me that I have previously been missing. I know in my head that I am to praise and worship God but in my heart this action has shallow roots. To say the least my praise and worship of my Creator, my Lord and Savior is often found lacking. Many times when I write a letter, I often add a postscript. I am ashamed to say that this is often the way I approach God in my prayer life. My beginning prayer is always about what I want, what I need, what others need, and then comes the afterthought. Oh by the way God, I praise you and I worship you and I love you. After this morning’s prompting from the Holy Spirit, I am considering the very real possibility that I love myself a bit more than I love my God.
So today Lord, I kneel in your presence in awe remembering that my prayer time is my intimate time alone with you. I know that I usually rush into your presence with many requests. Some requests are for others, but most of my prayer focus is on asking for favors from your gracious hand that will benefit me. I ask you for provision, my personal desires, good health, and happy endings. Forgive me Father for failing to speak words of gratitude, worship, and praise. I know you are pleased when I bring my concerns and requests to you. However, today let me ask for nothing, neither for myself nor for another. Let me only praise and worship you. Today I want to offer up a “perfect prayer”. Not perfect in man’s eyes but perfect in your eyes. A prayer that brings you joy!
God this PRAYER belongs to you alone:
God, I’ve been studying your names. This is a perfect way to guide my words of prayer in praise and worship. The significance of each of your many names begs for my praise and adoration of you. Your attributes are awe-inspiring springboards for my praise and worship every day. God, all of your names reflect who you are. You are the Mighty God, who is powerful. You are the Everlasting Father, and you are the Creator of the universe. You are the Most High God, and Sovereign Lord. You are the God Who Sees. You are the All Sufficient One; you are a Jealous God who calls me to have no other gods before you, because you want all of me for yourself. God you are my Lord and my Master. You are the Great I Am, who is self-existent. You are my Provider, my Healer, and my Banner of protection from Satan. Lord, you are my Sanctifier and my Prince of Peace. God you are the Lord of Hosts, the mighty commander of heaven’s armies. Still you are my gentle Shepherd and you are my Righteousness. You are the King of Glory who is coming again for your bride. I praise you and I worship you! What a magnificent package you are, all wrapped up in One! There is none above you. I praise you because I love you. I worship you because you alone are worthy. I speak words of gratitude because without you my life is meaningless.
It is in your Son’s name I pray. Amen.
As I continue to linger in my mind’s garden I observe in the distance a field of trees clapping their hands in adoration. Then I notice that the stones along the garden path are crying out in praise. Flowers of every species raise their heads and shout “hallelujah” to their creator. The lush green ferns prayerfully whisper, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The birds in the garden sing songs of never ending praise. Then all is still. There is a musical “grand pause” of silence. Selah. This too is a silence that radiates meditation and marvelous worship.
“Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty,
he is the King of glory.”
Psalm 24:10 NIV

 The Sonshine is warm; I am enveloped in God’s arms of love. I do not want to leave this place. The moments I have spent in pure praise and worship have been indescribable. My heart cries out for more worship, and more praise. If indeed praise and worship belong alone to God, then why do I feel so blessed and so loved? Could it be because I am full, my cup runs over, I have no need for asking the one I worship for anything. As my praise and worship goes up to the throne of God, he in return showers his love and peace on me falling down like a refreshing rain and I am blessed.

  1. Have you ever experienced sweet praise and worship?
  2. Do you relate to offering your praise and worship to God as a postscript?
  3. Would you consider sitting with Jesus in prayer and refraining from asking him for anything?
  4. Do you realize that God created us to worship him?
  5. How is praise and worship played out in your life?
  6. What are the benefits of praise and worship?
  7. Would you consider making a “selfless” list of why you love him?