How to Pray

Throughout the history of the Church, from the beginning of history in the garden of Eden, through the times of the judges, prophets, apostles and now modern times, prayer has always been fundamental for our relation to God. We are part of his covenant, a personal friendship between us and our Father. We must continue to communicate through prayer with the One who so carefully crafted us and chose us to be His own.

We know we must pray, yet often we fail to do so consistently. We all know the calling to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17), yet we rarely do so.  With this problem arises a question: How do we pray?

As we come before our covenant God in prayer, we must come with a Christian attitude of humility. We must come with an open heart before our God, imploring His grace. We need Him for our very existence. We know He will provide our daily bread and listen to us when we pray. He “will never leave nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). God is exalted above all, exalted above the heavens, yet He bows down His ear to us and looks upon us in grace. It is because of the Lord’s grace that we are here today, and because of His loving act of choosing us as His own that we have the ability to come to Him in prayer.

As we come to God with an attitude of humility, exalting Him above all, we must hold ourselves in a way that is reverent towards His name. Whether this be folding your hands and closing your eyes to remove yourself from the ever present distractions, or even holding out your arms and looking up to heaven, we must come reverently towards His throne of grace. He will hear the prayers of His children as they rise up to him. He will hear and answer each and every request we make. Come to God reverently as He is our Father and King, the One who created us each “fearfully and wonderfully” (Ps. 39:14), and in His eternal counsel has chosen us as His own. We, finite creatures that we are, He has chosen for His own! How could we not come before him in prayer with great reverence?

We must remember that it is not our ability to pray that determines the status of the prayer, but rather the Christian attitude of humility towards our God for His grace and love that we experience all throughout our lives. Prayer arises our of humility and reverence toward God our Father. And prayer also leads us to deeper humility and reverence before Him. God our Father surely hears those who humbly and reverently come to Him in prayer.

Alex Van Uffelen

Ready to Grow in the Fear of God

We must come to the worship service tomorrow ready to grow in the fear of God. Why? This is the reason: When we have the knowledge of who God really is and why we must fear Him, all of our other fears and concerns will be allayed. When we understand how great our God is, we will earnestly desire to praise and reverence Him at all times. David understood this: “O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:9-11).

What is the fear of the Lord? Let’s take a look at how the Bible defines it.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalm 110:10).

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).

“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).

To sum up these verses, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, hatred of evil, and the fountain of everlasting life. Fearing God is coming to an understanding of who He is: finding out how holy, just, merciful, and perfect Jehovah is, and how we really cannot even comprehend how great He is. We can only come to this knowledge by the grace God gives us, and even that fact humbles us and causes us to bow before our almighty Lord.

The world we live in, however, constantly tells us to forsake the fear of the Lord. We are tempted daily to turn our eyes from God and instead fear man. The culture of victimization that we live in shows this plainly. How common isn’t it to say that it’s the other person’s fault? “They did it, they made me do it.” This is basically saying that our behavior is controlled by other people. We are succumbing to the fear of man, looking to man to solve problems instead of looking up and putting our trust in God. When we fear man, many problems ensue: we worry about what others think about us, we love ourselves instead of loving God, and sometimes we even demand answers from God.

Because we are so prone to wander from God, we must constantly seek to grow in the fear of the Lord. How can we grow in this knowledge? Every Sunday we have the opportunity to grow—and not only is it an opportunity, but it is a requirement for God’s people. Our Lord requires us to come to the worship service ready to grow in His fear. Using His servants that preach His Word, He calls us to learn who He is, how needy we are, and why we must worship Him. We cannot come to worship with a heart that doesn’t want to grow anymore. Instead, we must be eager and longing to know our God more and more so we can put our trust in Him alone.

Be ready tomorrow, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Prepare your hearts to grow in the fear of the Lord!

Grace Medema