Pray God's Character
Romans 11:36—For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
One year our church began a series of meetings in which we were praying and hoping for a revival.
On the first Sunday of the meeting, the well-known veteran revivalist announced his sermon title. He said today we are going to learn where revival begins. I thought, “Oh great, here we go again. I know what he’s going to say—I’ve heard this before.” You know the idea of draw a circle and get in it and let revival begin with me. Honestly, I didn’t want anything else to have to begin with me.
To my joyful surprise, the speaker said something I had never heard before! He said, “A revival that begins in the character of God is as a river ever deepening and widening until it falls into the expanse of God’s great eternity.”
I immediately felt relieved and blessed to know that our effort for a revival started in the right place. The same is true with effectual prayer.
Pray in God’s Holy Character
The following are excerpts from A.W. Tozer’s book, The Knowledge of the Holy.
True religion confronts earth with heaven and brings eternity to bear upon time. The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of things, worshiping men. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.
With our loss of the sense of the majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God. Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them.
A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness of the true God. “Thou thoughtest,” said the Lord to the wicked man in the psalm, “that I was altogether such as one as thyself.” The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.
The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him—and of her. In all her prayers and labors this should have first place.
We are learning to pray within the boundaries of the character and activity of God. Here we will rescue prayer from not being heard. We will participate with God’s heart for all things. Here we can pray with confidence.
1 John 5:14-15—Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Are we imitating a religious practice or participating with the Living God? Is a proper request important? Who helps us?
Romans 8:26-27—Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Our Lord left us a perfect template for all praying that considered God’s character.
From Matthew 6:9-13:
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The disciples considered God’s omniscience between the ascension and Pentecost.
Acts 1:24-25—And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”
There is a place of infinite power and authority, and we as a congregation need to unite there.
• Where God is glorified
• Where Jesus is prized
• Where the Spirit is obeyed
• Where Scripture is the prayer list
• Where faith is the lifeline
• Where repentance is the lifestyle
• Where believers agree as one
• Where group praying is the format
From Belief to Behavior
• Isolate the need.
• Match the need with one or more aspects of God’s character.
• Support with appropriate Scripture.
• Turn to God and pray.
• Rejoice in being heard.