Yesterday I started sharing an outline for God-centered prayer. I gave you two points out of 11, so here are the other 9:
3. Give Him glory as creator, protector, benefactor and ruler
- Praise God as the artist and engineer who has designed the most beautiful and complex creatures.
- Worship Him for the protection placed around you at all time that you often take for granted or speak of as if it’s lacking.
- Acknowledge Him as the only provider of grace and goodness in your life.
- Bow to Him as ruler; as King.
4. Give honor to the three distinct persons of the Godhead
I love thinking about my Father in Heaven – for eternity past – loving His Son and the perfect love going back and forth between them is the Spirit.
That great Father sent that invaluable Son to die so that I could have that Spirit – that essence of their love – inside of me.
This is Heaven: the love God has for Himself placed in of me
This is the gift of the Cross: that I am carried by Jesus Himself into the presence of His Father, whose words are translated to me by the power of His Spirit in prayer.
4. Acknowledge dependence on Him and obligation to Him as creator
God loves you without need, but you do not love Him the same way
You need Him: to breathe, to move, to have joy or life or love. Confess to Him all the ways you have behaved as if independence is the goal and right of your life. Acknowledge the unbreakable cord of dependence that binds you to Him as His creation.
5. Declare God to be our Covenant God who owns us
Starting my day on my knees (literally), and saying out loud to God: “God, you own me,” has been messing me up. (I mean, I’ve only done it twice, but I’m thinking it’s something I should do more often.)
6. Acknowledge the inestimable favor of being invited to drawn near to Him
The Gospel isn’t over for us. We need blood-bought grace to stand before God today. We get to receive the ‘good news’ every day.
Henry reminds us to “express our unworthiness to draw near to Him” and thank Him for the obscene and unparalleled act of justice, mercy and grace that purchased for us the right to be in His presence through prayer.
7. Profess our desire for Him as our happiness
I’m not sure if Henry means (a) that we should express to God our desire to feel happiest in Him, (b) that we should express to God that He is our happiness.
I think it’s the latter, and the bad news is, that seems to presume maturity that I don’t have most days.
The good news is, that even when I don’t feel like God makes me happiest, He is still the key to my joy. I can take Henry’s advice and pray for more of God because He is the hope of happiness for us all.
If you feel sad today, if you long for sweet relief and peace and delight, then table the prayers for a husband, or a child, or a job (just for a moment) and pray for more of God. That is what your heart longs for – whether you know it or not.
8. Profess our hope and trust in his all-sufficiency
Right now – whether you’re at work or at home or reading this on your phone in a movie theatre – tell God the truth: that no matter what your heart is clinging to, no matter what your flesh believes – He is all you need.
9. Ask God to graciously accept us and our poor prayers
Your dept has been paid and your righteousness purchased so that you might stand before God. Wave your receipt – Christ’s blood – before the Father as the foundation for your prayers.
10. Pray for the assistance of the Holy Spirit in prayers
Those prayers you tabled a minute ago, (the prayers for a husband or a child or a job) – ask the Spirit to carry them before the Father and mold them until “the glory of God is the highest goal of [your] prayers”.
11. Profess our reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ alone
You need Jesus. For anything. For everything.
We are so very frail and fragile. We are so very weak and lacking. What hope do we have, but Jesus?
Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.