The ability to feel awe and be amazed is God’s gift for wholesome enjoyment of creation. And our wow response is an important part of praying as admirers of the Lord.
The biggest stirrer of our wow response is not the natural beauty of creation, but the magnificence of the Creator. The marvels of creation are like a myriad light beams, all pointing to the One we’re designed to admire most.
From the start, the Lord introduced himself to Israel as God of wonders. It featured in their first song as a new nation: Who is like you—working wonders? (Ex. 15:11). He hasn’t stopped doing and saying extraordinary things to capture his people’s attention and stir wow responses.
Freed to (forever) enjoy being amazed
God has freed us to enjoy being amazed by him. His Spirit trains our heart’s eyes to take in more and more of the view of him. But our heart needs space to pause and put our wonder into words.
The heart that marvels at him is more easily changed to be like him (2Cor 3:17, 18).
God tells us things about himself to stretch our experience of wonder. His Word (both written and living Word) is his clearest unveiling of who he is and what he is like. Unlike anything else, exposure to his Glory will feed the wow response of a heart that wants to be amazed by him.
Pause, ponder and be amazed
When Jesus said to his disciples: with God all things are possible (Mt 19:26), it was a familiar truth to them, and to any knowers of Old Testament Scriptures. So, Peter let the words bounce off his ears and returned to the main conversation point – wealth and entrance to the Kingdom – wanting to know what was in it for them.
Those words of Jesus, with God all things are possible, could have drawn his disciples to his viewing platform to enjoy the vista of God’s great power with him. It was a view meant to stir wonder.
I’m sure we can see a shadow of ourselves in Peter’s response—a tendency to skim over a familiar truth and miss the invitation to pause, ponder and be amazed.
Ask a question, make room for wonder
Sometimes, instead of a statement about himself, the Lord asks a question. After Sarah laughed at his promise of a son, the Lord asked Abraham: Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Gen 18:14). Again, it’s the all things are possible truth, but here it’s framed as a question to encourage a pause, and make room to ponder and wonder.
Questions that draw attention to the excellence of the Lord help to awaken our wonder-ability and give it healthy exercise! By asking a question (creating one, or repeating one from Scripture) we open a space for wow response.
Expressing wonder involves emotions, but we don’t have to wait for the feeling before responding. We’re learning a great new creation habit: see a truth about the Lord, pause, ponder its size and significance, and then offer him a wow response. It could express in several ways, including a shout, a song, posture change (E.g. prostration or kneeling), or a time of silent awe. However, it’s always good to include a statement and/or a question that verbalizes our wonder at that truth about the Lord. A wow response put into words.
Here are two Scripture examples of a pray-er asking a question to make room for wonder:
- In Psalm 35:10, David sings: My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, Lord?” Then he tells the Lord how amazed he is at his incomparable strength to rescue the weak. Use the same question to focus on a truth about the Lord that is currently very meaningful to you. What are you seeing of that truth that tells you he is unequalled, beyond comparison? How do you feel as you take in the size of that truth? Ask, Who is like you, Lord? Then respond to the question. Put your wonder into words.
- Do the same using the question in Psalm 24:8, 10: Who is this King of glory?
Finally, focus on a specific truth about the Lord and create your own question that helps you to pause and ponder the truth. Repeat the question a few times, each time followed by a fresh wow response that puts your wonder into words.