God is…

Psalm 86 (selected verses)

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, Nor are there any works like Yours.

All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name.

For You are great and do wondrous deeds ; You alone are God.

For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

With the Lord’s prayer, he teaches us to start off our prayers by giving glory to the Lord.  It is very easy to brush past that in our prayers in a rush to get to our laundry list of wants and needs.  The psalmist, however, sprinkles praise and worship of the Lord throughout his prayer/psalm (which includes his fair share of wants and needs).  You almost have to get an image of a scared servant approaching an unstable king.  Like the servant is groveling on his knees and complimenting the king to make sure he doesn’t anger him with his requests.

The problem with that imagery is that the Lord really is worthy of the praise.  It isn’t groveling if all the adjectives in the world could never due him justice.  So the psalmist is actually pouring out his heart to a loving Lord with a mixture of appreciation and utter dependence upon his favor.

So I would encourage you to do the same.  By all means present your requests to the Lord.  He wants to hear them and he wants to bless you.  But reflect upon the characteristics of the Lord (see above for just a few examples) and let your appreciation for him shine through.  I think you’ll find that it focuses your thoughts and ends up blessing you as much as it honors him.

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