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Embrace Humility and Reverence When You Pray

Embrace Humility and Reverence When You Pray
Photo by Artem Kovalev / Unsplash
“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.” – Hymn lyrics by Joseph M. Scriven (1820-1886)
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 New Living Translation

In our journey of seeking God through prayer, it is crucial to understand that while we can approach Him with comfort and confidence, it should always stem from a profound realization of His holiness and our inherent imperfection as humans. God, in all His ways, is perfect, while we, due to our limitations, carry flaws and require His forgiveness on a regular basis. Fortunately, the forgiveness for our mistakes and sins has been made possible through Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection. This knowledge empowers us to humbly approach God with the assurance that we have been reconciled with Him.

A powerful illustration of this concept is found in Jesus' parable of two men who approached God in prayer (Luke 18:9-14). The first man, filled with a sense of superiority, thanked God that he was not as sinful as the other man standing nearby. However, the second man approached with a contrite and broken heart, acknowledging his frailties and sins in the presence of the holy God. Jesus taught that it was the prayers of the second man that resonated with God, while the self-righteous prayers of the first went unanswered.

The lesson we learn from this parable is clear: when we come to God in prayer, we must never adopt an attitude of superiority or indifference. Instead, we should approach Him with profound respect and reverence, recognizing His infinite holiness and our own need for His grace. Through Jesus' redemptive work, we have received forgiveness for our past separations from God, and this should lead us to approach Him with humility.

As we seek inspiration from the prophet Isaiah's words, we discover the significance of approaching God with a humble and contrite heart:

“The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: ‘I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.’”Isaiah 57:15 New Living Translation

The importance of approaching God with genuine humility, acknowledging our need for His mercy and forgiveness, is highlighted in this verse. When we come before Him with such a heart, our prayers find favor in His eyes.

In summary, when we approach God in prayer, it is essential to remember that our confidence and comfort should always be grounded in recognizing His holiness and our own imperfections. To truly connect with Him, we must cast aside any sense of superiority and embrace humility and reverence in His presence. By doing so, we open ourselves to a deeper connection with God, experiencing His profound grace and love.

God yearns to restore whatever may be lacking in us and to revive our weary souls. However, to receive these blessings, it is vital that we come before Him with contrite and humble hearts.

Let us approach God with sincere humility, and He will shower us with His love and bring about our restoration.

Action Steps:

  1. Can you think of a time in which you talked to God in a flippant attitude, maybe not paying attention or not giving God your full attention?
  2. Can you see from the scriptures above that God rewards those who approach Him with the proper respect and awe?
  3. Let's agree that from now on we will talk to God, but that we will make sure to pay attention to the way in which we speak to Him. With God, your attitude is important.

Excerpted from The Daily Christian: Prayer by Iann Schonken: