Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:12-16)
Many Christians have complained that their prayer lives have become too ritualistic. They have no joy in prayer. Perhaps this is because they have reduced prayer to focusing on their needs rather than focusing on the character, attributes, and deeds of God. The great saints of old used two tools for their prayer lives: a Bible and a hymnbook. The Bible gave them an expression of the attributes of God, and the hymnbook gave them an expression of love for the attributes and deeds of God.
The church would benefit from Christians bringing these tools to their prayer chambers. We need to learn to praise and give thanks to the Father with simple and sincere devotion. In the presence of God are joy and reverence.
Prayer also brings us into another dimension—the dimension of the heavenly. When we enter the dimension of the heavenly we discover the magnificence of the character of God. When our sight is fully set on Him, we will see Him for who He is.
Father, my heart longs to meet with You in the heavenly places as I pray, for in Your presence is fullness of joy! Draw me to a meeting place with You continually, whether in my prayer closet, in the pages of Your Word, or throughout the moments of my day so that I might be constantly aware of Your nearness. May I expectantly set my sight fully upon You to see You for all that You are!
Praise God for the forgiveness of sins. Give thanks for God’s marvelous promise that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). Confess your sins to God. Commit yourself to living in the joyous assurance that your sins are, indeed, forgiven (Ps. 103:3). Ask God to help you sincerely forgive others who have wronged you (Mt. 6:12).
Ask God to ease the tension of racial conflict in our cities and on some campuses. Pray for repentance and forgiveness to heal neighborhoods and communities. Ask God to protect and empower believers who are working for reconciliation.