Passionate prayer and praise
Passionate prayer and praise of our Lord is a core concept taught from the first to the last page in the Bible. Genesis speaks of a time when communicating with God was as easy as speaking aloud, because God was right there to hear you. Since those times, there have been several models God has reached out and put in place for us to communicate with Him in a real relationship, not just a one-sided phone call.
The first revelation we have of praising God is the creation story. If you take one step outside it’s easy to find something amazingly creative that testifies to the glory of God. Even something as seemingly simple as the sky, with it dominant colours, shifting as the sun moves through space, and being painted with clouds new each day. It’s hard not to see a beautiful evening sky in August and not think how glorious our God truly is. The revelation of God’s glory in creation is the most basic form of praise spoken about in scripture, and is such a perfectly inclusive picture of God involving us in His great design. Even you and me are His most special creation (Gen. 1:26-31)
One particular time in the history God shows us how to praise is when the Israelites are making an altar to worship God in the desert just after the Ten Commandments have been given. God commands them to use imperfect stones (Exodus 20:25) when making the altar. In the light of Jesus changing how we can have relationship with God (John 14:3) we can see God used the altar, a platform on which to worship, to point us to a larger truth. God wants us just as we are, imperfect, broken, and maybe a little scarred just like the rocks used to make the altar for the Israelites. One of the most important truths about our relationship with God is that we no longer need to purify or fix or atone for our broken selves. Jesus stands in the gap between our imperfect lives and the perfect God.
Passionate relationship and praise with and of our God comes from this realization, that God wants us no matter where we are in life. We can do our best to look good, raise our hands and sing loudly at church but none of that matters without the understanding that God loves us regardless if we have the right words to pray or can sing on-key. Jesus put it this way, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent”. In this section of the book of John, Jesus explains that God has sent Him to be the true bread of life, akin to how we eat to stay alive. The only thing we need to be alive is Jesus, and we live in that truth.
If you are looking to improve how you pray, or want to have the “spiritual experience” you might seem to see in others, I would say this to you. Worship and prayer begin and end with focusing on being one-on-one in relationship with God and the impact He has on you. The same God who painted the sky, and made us in His image. This is what passionate prayer and praise really is
“The revelation of God’s glory in creation is the most basic form of praise spoken about in scripture ”