Today we continue our series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” with an emphasis on “The Power of Prayer.” By now I believe driven home the importance of prayer and the fact that Jesus gave you the “right” to stand before the Father directly. However, I want to make it clear that while you have the right to stand before God, because of Jesus, this does not mean that you are not required to reverence and worship God. As a matter of fact, when you know all God did for you in Christ Jesus, you should worship and reverence Him even more!
Let’s go the Old Testament today. In the Old Covenant, believers had a serious reverence for the Lord. I recommend you read Leviticus 16 when you have time. I won’t deal with the entire chapter. Here are the first two verses. The Bible says, “The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the LORD’s presence and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. The LORD said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover.” Aaron’s sons disrespected the presence of the Lord and it was the last thing they did. Now, I’m not saying that God is going to strike you dead if you don’t enter His presence correctly, but I am saying that there should be a level of reverence, respect and appreciation when you approach God.
In Exodus 28 Moses described the High Priest’s attire (see Ex 28:31-35). The outfit was adorned with bells. The bells were there to make noise as the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place where God was. If the noise stopped, it was an indication that the High Priest may have died. If he died, no one was able to go in and retrieve the body, because they would die as well. So the High Priest also wore a rope around his ankle. This way, if he did enter into God’s presence the wrong way and wound up dead, the other priests could pull the body out by the rope; without entering into the Most Holy Place. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that we go out and buy fancy outfits or that we build a “Holy of Holies” in our home. I know we are not under the Law and I praise God for that, but that does not change the fact that there is a reverence factor that is missing in the lives of many today. And this reverence, or lack of it, does impact our prayer life.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- While Jesus gave you access to the Father directly and He gave you the authority to use His name, what He did not do was to lessen God’s importance. God is still God. The Lord is not your homeboy, dude, buddy. He is not a 9-1-1 service you call only when you have an emergency. He is still God. He sits on the circle of the earth. He created all things. He rules and reigns throughout all times. He has all power. He is the ultimate authority. He is God, and besides Him there is no other. He is the one true God. He alone is the King of kings. He alone is the Lord of lords. And He is worthy of all our praise. Never forget that when you approach the Father in prayer.
- God is all knowing, all powerful, Omni-present, ever ruling and eternally virtuous. He is the God of your past, your present and your future; the God of your yesterday, your today, and your forever more; the God of your already, your right now and your not yet. He is to be adored, respected and worshipped. When you prepare to approach the Father in prayer, remember who He is and it will help you give Him the reverence He deserves. Your reverence will open the door to your prayers.
- Last night I was in Bible Study. Before my Pastor (my Spiritual Father) taught the Word, we had a time or praise and worship. During the time of praise we sang songs about God’s goodness. These songs were designed to cause us to think about how good God has been to us. I love giving God praise for what He has done and for what I am believing Him to do. Then the music slowed down and we began to worship. In worship we transition from singing about God to singing TO God. Instead of looking back, like we do in praise, in worship we often look UP! After a long day of work I got home with just enough time to eat dinner and head straight to church. I was in the sanctuary, I had enjoyed the praise, but I was physically tired and psychologically drained. I get up early every day, so it’s understandable that my body was tired. I have many things going in my my life (things God has graced me to do), so it is understandable that my mind was tired as well. But as I began to worship, I lost myself in God’s presence. I fell on my knees, I cried out to the God of my salvation, and I worshipped Him for who He is. In that moment I was not asking God for anything. All I wanted to do was worship, adore, exalt, appreciate and honor my God. When I think about the many facets of my life, and all God has called me to do, it can be overwhelming at times. I know I have the grace for it, but I am also human (like everyone else), and the challenges can have a toll on me, like they have on others. However, my secret place is found in worship. I enjoy praise, but I love worship. When I worship God for who He is, and I am in a posture where I am not asking Him for anything, it is in those moments that God clearly tells me what to ask for. Said another way, my worship enables my prayer life. In worship, when I am simply enjoying the presence of the Lord, the Father tells me what to ask Him for, and I do, and at that moment it is so PURE of an exchange, that those prayers are answered without failure, because the requests were not originated in my heart. Those prayers were birthed in the heart of God. So last night, when I got up from my knees, and I had tears running down both cheeks, I wiped my face, I sat down to get ready to receive the Word of God, and I was completely refreshed. I had been renewed in the presence of the Lord. This a missing component in the prayer lives of many today. If you want to pray effectively, learn to honor, reverence and worship the one you are praying to!
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. I open my heart to Your best. I do so by worshipping and reverencing You daily. You alone are Holy. You alone are the Most High. You alone are the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. You alone sit on the circle of the earth. You are the only true and living God. I acknowledge no other deity. I call upon no other name. I worship no other god. You are my God, You are my King, You are my Lord and I worship You. I enter every day with thanksgiving on my lips and praise emanating from my heart. I will never cease to give You praise for what You have done. I will never cease to worship You, simply for who You are! I am eternally thankful for Your mercy and I will always bless Your name. I reverence You with my whole heart and my reverence opens the door to my prayers. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!