O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
So often in the psalms of David, he began with an acknowledgement of the greatness of God. It’s important for us to look at the attributes of God. It’s important for us to consider His unlimited power, His unlimited knowledge, and the fact that He is present everywhere.
When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He said, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy” (Matthew 6:9 NLT). We should begin our prayers with adoration. We should consider the love, justice, and holiness of God and get our thoughts in order.
Thus, we start by recognizing who it is we are speaking to.
God is our Father in Heaven, not our servant in Heaven, our butler in Heaven, or our vending machine in Heaven. We are speaking to the almighty God, the Creator of the universe. That puts things into perspective.
This, by the way, is the reason we have a time of worship at the beginning of our church services. It prepares our hearts and helps us set aside the things that are distracting us and troubling us. It puts us into a frame of mind in which we can be refreshed, taught, strengthened, and, if necessary, corrected.
Before we offer a word of petition in prayer, we are to worship the Lord and recognize who He is. As we do, we’ll begin to reexamine things, and we may not pray for what we originally intended to pray for.
For instance, you may have wanted to pray that God would change your spouse or judge someone who has wronged you. But after spending time in the presence of God, you instead pray, “Lord, change me. Forgive me for the wrongs I’ve done. Change my heart.”
Things will change in your petitions because you’re aligning yourself with God’s will. And that is the objective of effective prayer.