There’s a connecting channel between personal and corporate prayer. The tone of a prayer gathering is affected by the personal prayer experience of those present. Likewise, spiritual vibrancy and faith in the upper room will impact inner room prayer life. Both ‘rooms’ will thrive and have a deepening influence on each other, as long as eternal values remain more important than format.
Form serves values. And because we’re constantly growing in our grasp of eternal values, prayer format should be dynamic, not rigid. That means being willing (in both ‘rooms’) to replace or adjust some prayer forms and routines that have become ‘the way we always do it’.
The forever norm
In heaven, the ever-deepening norm is: exposure and response to the Worthy One. His Glory (the beauty of who he is and what he is like) attracts constant ADMIRATION.
As an imperfect sample of that heavenly value, the Lord gave Zion the Davidic Tabernacle. There, day and night admiration of Glory became the frame for any asking, and the core of the kingdom’s well-being and expansion.
When Christ unsealed the New Covenant, the Spirit announced a restoration of the Davidic Tabernacle (Acts 15:16). Prayer admiration of Glory is central to the New Covenant mission. The Spirit empowers us for rising levels of response “on earth as in heaven”, and for its spread in all nations. In line with this, the Spirit frees us to set our hearts on the “above” (Col 3:1); to pray and live as an admirer of Christ. It’s a journey of learning…and of unlearning.
All prayer flavoured with admiration
ASKING is important, but needs are not meant to distract us from ADMIRING the Lord. The biggest urgency attached to a need is not the wanted answer, but the opportunity to admire the One we address with the need. This doesn’t devalue the need or God’s desire to help; it magnifies his supreme worthiness.
Prayers of wonder, celebration, thanks, praise and adoration* become the frame in which we do our asking. Not simply as a lead-in to the asking, but as the marinade that keeps our asking flavoured with the admiration of Christ.
Praying as an admirer of Christ is at the heart of prayer joy, passion, faith, restfulness and perseverance when answers are delayed. It makes a difference to praying and reshapes living. As its influence on prayer life deepens, the impact on living spreads. That influence grows the more we talk to him about his worthiness. So we make our admiration of him a prayer conversation piece.
Some prayer conversation points
- Psalm 9:1. I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. In the TPT: my whole heart erupts with praise! To allow for that whole-hearted eruption of admiration, think of one recent wonderful deed the Lord has done (experienced, or heard of). Focus on one thing it shows about the Lord. Celebrate (share in his joy) the way the deed displays his Glory, then expand your admiration of that beauty in him in your prayer conversation. [*see the 5 admiration expressions above]
- Bring a current asking point to the Lord. What quality in him does that need draw your attention to – his mercy, strength, wisdom, patience, faithfulness…? Focus on it, find an anchor verse that highlights that quality in him, then bring your wonder, celebration, thanks, praise and adoration into the conversation. Keep the admiration alive as you talk to him about the need.
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