Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 3.
“…with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a known tongue.”
1 Corinthians 14:16,17
Prayer: the offering up of our praises and petitions to God. It is a special part of natural worship. Not all prayer is acceptable to God, though. The prayer that is acceptable is made in the name of the Son, with the help of the Spirit, and according to His will. Yet there are other qualities we must bring to our prayers in order for their to be accepted.
Prayer is to be made:
- with understanding. The same eternal Being who is careful that his character not be misrepresented, who has revealed His will through the Scriptures, while above all comprehension, does not leave us ignorant as to His qualities or character. Ecstatic utterances devoid of meaning do not bring Him glory.
- with reverence. We are not bringing our requests to God as if we were venting to our girlfriends. God is our Creator, our Savior, and our King. Even though we are adopted as sons by Him, we owe Him the utmost respect in our prayers.
- with humility. We do not deserve to have any communication with God, much less to bring our petitions to Him. His grace and mercy should keep us meek as we approach Him.
- with fervency. Ho-hum, lackadaisical prayer smacks of unbelief.
- with faith. If we doubt God’s omnipotence, why would such a prayer be accepted by Him? May we not insult Him by doubting as we pray.
- with love. This is our heavenly Father we are addressing. We are His blood-bought children. A cold prayer devoid of love is not acceptable to Him.
- with perseverance. “…will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?” (Luke 18:7)
- in a known tongue. Prayer is not only to benefit the petitioner, but those who hear her pray as well.
Acceptable prayer, therefore, is neither purely logical nor utterly emotional. It is reasoned yet warm. It is passionate and persistent, but also humble and respectful. May we strive to bring these traits to our prayers.
Questions to Consider
- What component of acceptable prayer do you have trouble exhibiting?