So…it turns out all I pray about is me.
I pray for what I want. I pray about my sin. I pray about my friend’s needs. I pray for those I love who don’t know God. I pray for wisdom for my life.
All good and important prayers, but, but until about two weeks ago, it had literally never occurred to me to pray to God about God.
I was reading some of Matthew Henry’s writings on prayer and it kind of messed me up. (He’s a puritan, so, as you can imagine he is pretty intense about prayer).
I figured I’d try it. And I gotta say: I’m loving God. Like, loving Him. In the way that makes me happy. About everything.
I guess it makes sense cause:
(1) God made us to find joy in looking at Him, so it makes sense that just sitting still and talking to God about how great He is would help us remember how great He is and experience the subsequent joy.
(2) God made us as creatures who increase our joy by telling people why we love them. That’s why new couples take such delight in sitting across the table from one another and celebrating one another’s strengths and qualities.
There is joy in telling someone what you love about them.
God isn’t insecure. He doesn’t need our praises to remind Him of who He is, but for our joy, He calls us to wrap words around His great glory.
I’ve summarized Matthew Henry’ outline for how to pray making much of God into 11 points. Here are the first 2:
1. Start by talking to God like He’s God
It’s not easy to talk to God like a father, and a lot of us have to fight to get to that. But, sometimes, for me – in my pursuit of grasping that, I have lost a little bit (a lot bit) of my fear of God. You know what I mean: that sense of Holy trembling when you grasp your littleness against the back drop of His glory.
Just sitting and praying through the God-ness of God has been so so sweet for my soul. Far from diminishing God as father, it’s helped me grasp how ridiculous and meaningful it is that this God is my dad.
- God is self-existent, self-sufficient and infinite. He isn’t like us. He’s set apart from all the other things we worship in this life. He was not created and He will never end.
- And even as your mind gets anxious trying to wrap around the concept of infinite, praise Him for a nature that is beyond our comprehension.
- Profess to Him His matchless perfection. The greatest husband, the best meal, the sweetest moment with your children – these things are as far from God’s perfection as the earth is from the stars we see in the sky. Our God is infinitely above us and all others.
- God is everywhere. He is as present with me now as I sit writing this as He has ever been with any person in any time and any place.
- He is perfect in His knowledge and wisdom.
- He is sovereign over every detail of this world.
- His power is beyond understanding.
- His purity and righteousness is flawless.
- He is always just, always true and inexhaustibly good.
Don’t blow through those things. Think on them. Meditate on them. Speak them to God.
2. Give God the praise of His glory in Heaven.
Take a second to let your mind fill with the image of the angels around the throne, worshipping Him at all times; singing His praises.
Then, join them.
Seriously and literally: lift your voice and sing with the angels around the throne and enjoy that privilege, which was purchased for you by nothing less than the blood of Jesus Christ.