LWAYG: Prayers of Adoration & Praise

(note: “LWAYG” is an abbreviation for “Last Week at Youth Group,” meaning this is a summary of a recent youth group lesson.)

Do you think it’s selfish for God to expect us to worship Him and pray, telling Him how awesome He is?  At some point or another, I think this is a question most of us will wrestle with.  It seems so arrogant and self-serving… but I wonder who else is more worthy of being worshipped and adored than God?  He created and sustains everything, who deserves our worship and praise more?  God is the only One who can honor Himself and not be guilty of idolatry!

I think it comes down to remember what the word “Awesome” really means.  We use it so casually: “That movie was awesome,” “I’m so awesome at this game I should get the ball every time,” and so on.  Dictionary.com defines awesome as, “an overwhelming feeling of reverence or admiration produced by that which is grand, sublime, or extremely powerful.”

I’m confident that we can all think of times when we’ve experienced moments of Awe.  When I asked students to give examples of times when they felt “Awe,” it was interesting that every example was a time in nature, God’s creation, when they felt this overwhelming feeling of their smallness and God’s greatness.

When we come before God to pray, we need to remember who it is we’re praying to!  God isn’t our “buddy,” but we also need to remember that He loves us so much He gave us Jesus in order to rescue us from the judgment we deserve.  We pray to our “Heavenly Father” and we have a personal loving relationship with Him, but we need to remember that God is also Holy.  If we do not know what God is like, it’s difficult for us to pray prayers of adoration and praise.  Here is an excerpt from the ESV Study Bible listing the Attributes of God (aka: what God is like), verses where we see these communicated in Scripture, and their practical implications for our lives.
The Psalms provide a wonderful example of these Prayers of Adoration & Praise, here are two short examples:
“I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.  For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” (Psalm 108:1-5)
  • God is Holy and is the only One worthy of being worshipped.  God is love and He is faithful and we can trust Him.  He is worthy of not only our worship, but of everyone’s worship!
  • Do you remember that God is bigger than your needs, or do you make your prayers all about what you need or want?
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalms 84:10)
  • Being in God’s presence is greater than anything else we can possibly imagine.  He is faithful to keep His promises, and his promises are richer and better than anything else we could possibly imagine.
  • Do you really believe that God’s presence is the best place imaginable, or does God have to twist your arm to get you to pray?

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