Call to Worship:
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
Salutation: Pastor: In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
The Lord be with you! Ruth 2:4
And also with you!
Our help is in the Name of Yahweh, Psalm 124:8
Who made heaven and earth!
In our exhortation last week I spoke that God takes joy in engaging His people in prayer. We saw that Moses boldly came to God in prayer and He told God that He should remember His love for his elect people, remember His glory among the nations, and finally remember His promises in His word.
On this Lord’s Day, I would like to speak briefly on the attitude of prayer. We know that prayer is significant. The New Covenant calls us to come boldly with our petitions to the throne of grace and James says that the prayers of the righteous are effective.
My exhortation this morning is to bathe our petitions in thanksgiving for what God has done. We do not simply pray because God tells us to. This is one reason, but it is hardly the main source of encouragement for prayer. We pray because God hears us, engages us and delights in our thanksgiving.
We need to turn our prayers into a time of engagement with God. We need to let God know the depths of our thoughts and sometimes it is very effective to write it down…God calls us to be specific.
Briefly, let me draw our attention to Psalm 34 because it illustrates exactly this idea of bathing our petitions in thanksgiving. We all know this morning that being thankful is not something that comes naturally. We need to train ourselves, just as we need to train our little ones to be thankful. Psalm 34 says that we are to continually make thanksgiving unto God a part of our speech. Think about it, when you find out something wonderful has happened in your life, what is your first reaction? Is it to keep it to yourself or is it to pick up your phone and share it with family and friends? Of course, we desire to share the good news with others, but when it comes to religious matters, we all think it is pious to tell anyone the goodness of God lest anyone think we are a fanatic.
Why is it do you think that we act this way? Why isn’t the Christian experience as exciting as our experience about everything else? The reality is that for some of us the Christian faith is not as exciting because we have the glasses of the world on.
The Psalmist uses his lips to express thankfulness continuously. He tells God his story. The story of what God has done. You see, the art of thanksgiving is to gain the ability to tell God your story.
The Psalmist tells the Lord how He delivered him…he tells God the time when he was persecuted and Yahweh came to his rescue. Think of our own lives. Have we ever told God our stories; have you thanked God for His work in your life in redeeming you, in establishing, in giving you a family, providing your needs and so. It seems that the reason most of us can’t get away from giving God a list of things we want Him to do for us is because we do not know how to say thank you. There is certainly a time for asking, but there is a tremendous call in the Bible for thanksgiving.
This is the attitude that must guide our prayer life. The result of this in Psalm 34 is that developing a prayer life grounded in thanksgiving will lead to tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.
Let us pray: Merciful God, we give you thanks for this covenant body. May we tell our story, the story of deliverance and redemption. We thank you for this worship, may it be pleasing in your sight, O Lord our God.