“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:23-24
Once while I prayed, half distracted by the day’s task ahead, the Lord spoke to me and said, “if you can’t give Me your undivided attention, it’s because your heart is divided.” The reality of that simple truth pierced me. How could I allow things so trivial to occupy the same space as my God and King? Had I really become so dis-concerned and disrespectful of His presence? Have you?
“The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.” – Psalms 99:1-5
I think that many a prayer would be answered if we reverenced His courts as we should. When we enter nonchalantly, half heartedly, or absentmindedly, to God it is as if we have not entered at all. What an insult it must be to our Lord and savior who suffered so much shame, rejection, and reproach, poured out His precious blood, and died a cruel death that we might gain access to come boldly before the great and terrible thrown of God Almighty in prayer, when we do so in words but not appreciate or reverence it enough to truly do so in heart, mind, focus, and intent. Don’t just rattle off a surface prayer like the unfelt words of one speaking to a familiar face in the supermarket or a coworker in passing out of duty, tradition, or obligation. If your heart, focus, and humility toward His deity isn’t in it, then it is no better then the vain repetition of the heathens.
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” – Matthew 6:7
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
If you were going before your favorite celebrity or a summoned judge, you would put some thought into what you were going to say. Both in advance of the meeting and during. You would be focused. Your words would be thought out and with purpose. You would acknowledge their value and express your appreciation for them taking the time out of their busy lives to spend some of it listening to you. You would eagerly anticipate meeting with them. You would appreciate both the opportunity as well as every word spoken, and you would be fully present when they were spoken that they might stick with you once you had departed. Should we not do the same and so much more when we come to meet with the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Master of all Things, the Great and Terrible Judge of all the World, the Sacrificial Lamb, the Great I Am?
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29
“And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.” – Revelation 19:4-5
“Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power:” – Psalms 65:1-6