Prayer and the Awesomeness of God

Appreciating Him as the thunder, darkness, and lightning above Mount Sinai is such a vital part of our being able to pray. We need to really and truly comprehend His majesty, for it is in that bigness that mountains get moved. A weak, powerless, struggling God can’t do anything for anybody. However, the one who spoke all things into existence can help with your difficulties at work and home in a way that a being that just comes alongside for a hug cannot. It is a joy unspeakable to be in His presence and that is what we are communicating when we gather together in prayer.

When I sit down to write these devotionals through the Larger Catechism I always read and pray through the questions, partly because I think the Westminster Divines designed all of the material we have from their deliberations to help us primarily to worship God better. To know God is to love Him, to be mesmerized by His grace, to rest and be at peace in His love. The more time we spend growing in that goodness the more we will appreciate and adore the maker of Heaven and of Earth. In the questions we have before us today there are some advantageous reasons given as to why we should pray, how we should pray, and where we can go to find some help in seeking to do it better and with better form/purpose. These dusty confessions and catechisms have so much life in them if we would only approach them with the spirit in which they were ordered. If we look at them as drudgerous listings of angels dancing on the head of a pin it’s no surprise we don’t get anything out of them.

Feed your soul. Feed it. Here’s the Q/A’s for today:

Q. 185. How are we to pray?

A. We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God, and deep sense of our own unworthiness, necessities, and sins; with penitent, thankful, and enlarged hearts; with understanding, faith, sincerity, fervency, love, and perseverance, waiting upon him, with humble submission to his will.

Q. 186. What rule hath God given for our direction in the duty of prayer?

A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in the duty of prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which our Saviour Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord’s prayer.

Of the clauses which make up Q.185 the one that pops out at me first is humble submission to His will. Like a lot of things in the Christian life it says a lot more than we maybe want to hear. Whenever we come to God in prayer we are testifying of our own weakness, our whole and full reliance on Him for all things. There is truth to the idea that prayer is an act of love, of expressing our desire to be blessed by our Father who art in Heaven. Keeping that relationship in mind when we bow down is central to our being heard. A petulant child who whines is less likely to be heard than a young one who calmly asks nicely.

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