“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
How can we please God as we approach Him in prayer?
- Be simple. Flattery is not effective with God. Our God is the one being who knows us inside and out and insincerity will not work. If you are overwhelmed with love of God or gratitude or a response of praise, by all means extol God. God loves the praises of God’s people. But, faith is not magic, so simplicity is always a good rule.
- Be familial. God is our creator, the great Parent who loves us perfectly and has bought us back at a great price. We are precious to God who is our heavenly Father. We are adopted as heirs, so, if you are a believer in Jesus, you can call God your Father, too.
- Be respectful. “Lord,” “Sovereign God,” “Almighty One,” terms as these are all appropriate, and addressing God as completer of an action, or the giver of a gift, as Hagar did, has a biblical precedent. So, we can call God our Healer, our Divine Physician, the One who loves us, the One who caretakes us—the list seems endless.
- Be biblical. Generational blessing of God as the One who succors the faithful, or even the One who sustains our individual family—especially when we do it by reviewing God’s great actions in Scripture—is a powerful way to honor and invoke God. If you remember the specific place where God called you to salvation, you can even identify God as the God who visited you in that place and speaks to you in all places, while ruling us all from heaven.
In all things, being simple, but sincere, familial but respectful, biblical and personal, loving and grateful are keys when addressing God.
Abba Father, how grateful I am to have been grafted into Your family, and that You desire to have a relationship with me! I will never be able to fully comprehend all that You are, but I am thankful that You love me and bring purpose into my life. It amazes me that I can share my feelings, thoughts, questions, disappointments and joys with You, and that You have sent the Holy Spirit to be my teacher. In You I live and move and have my being! Thank You, Father!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 30, How to Address God in Prayer by William David Spencer). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Rejoice with the prophet Isaiah, who wrote, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10). Thank God for producing such joy in your life. Confess any lack of Christian joy. Commit yourself to bearing the fruit of joy through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Ask God to fill you with an inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Pet. 1:8).
Pray for your own expression of joy in the Lord. Do unbelievers recognize it in you? Do they know the source of your joy? Ask God to make your joy genuinely contagious.