"Stress and worry is a residual of relying on yourself and being your own god, in control of everything. Worship allows us to rely on God's power to steer us through life." - Bishop TD Jakes
When you pray, say, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9
Father. How does that name make you feel? If you had a good dad, then maybe it makes you think of safety, authority, strength, provision, respect, or love. If you didn’t, then maybe it makes you feel anxious. God may want to renew your ideas of what a good father looks like.
Jesus began the Lord’s prayer teaching us to approach God as our Father in heaven. He is not just any father but our heavenly Father. So no matter what your earthly father was/is like, this relationship is different. This Father birthed the entire universe, is infinitely powerful and cannot be manipulated or controlled. And yet, he loves us immeasurably and sacrificially gives his very best to us as a good Father. The name Father defines the legal nature of this relationship. We have rights as his children to access him instantly and inherit from him. (Read Matthew 7:7-11 for more about God’s father heart toward us.)
In the same breath, Jesus taught us to say “hallowed be your name.” This is a nudge to remember the gravity of who we are speaking to--our God is holy, righteous, and mighty. We hold in one hand the intimacy of our relationship as children of God, and in the other hand, the holiness and majesty of our God. This juxtaposition positions us into a place of intimacy and worship before our holy God who loves us, who provides for us, and who wants to do good things in us and through us.
The Psalmist encouraged us to “enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). Worship is an invitation into God’s presence. Standing in the presence of God, we remember who he is and what he has done for us. In comparison to his strength and his faithfulness, our problems seem so much smaller. As a result, we will feel his peace over the stresses in our lives when we see our lives from his perspective (Isaiah 26:3).
Jesus calls us to begin our prayer time remembering God is our good Father, and worshipping him, remembering all that he has done. Our heart of gratitude overflows with love for him. This puts our minds into the right perspective to connect with God.
QUESTIONS FOR CONTEMPLATION:
Is worship a part of your everyday life? How would you describe your posture towards God right now?
What challenging circumstances are you facing in your life? How do you think that a posture of worship might affect those adverse situations?
- Ask God to help you worship him in spirit and in truth.
- Remember the stories of when God came through for you.
- If you are struggling to remember, a good place to start is with what Jesus endured on the cross to take our consequences for the times when our miss became a mess.
- Put on a worship song and love him because of his goodness