The Prayer Series – Praying Adoration for the King

The Prayer Series
  • While you can pray through any part of the Bible, some books and chapters are much easier to pray through than others. Overall, the Book of Psalms is the best place in Scripture from which to pray Scripture. Almost every aspect of man’s relation to God is depicted in these poems: simple trust, the sense of sin, appeals to a higher power in time of trouble, and the conviction that the world is in the hands of a loving God. Join us in this 4 week series as we learn how to pray more God-centered prayers and enjoy more focus in prayer.
1. Praying Adoration for the King (Psalm 145)
  • Because God is full of love, He fully satisfies all who trust in Him.
Sermon Preparation Guide
  • Importance – What are the central ideas of the text?
  • We approach God in prayer with exaltation of Him as God. (Psalm 145:1 & 2)
  • In exalting God, we express our adoration of Him, for who He is and for what He does. (Psalm 145:3, 7, 9, 14, 18-20)
  • In our exaltation and adoration of God, we desire that He be exalted and adored by others. (Psalm 145:4, 7, 10-12)
  • Implications – What questions should the listener be asking?
  • How do you approach God when you pray? How should you approach God when you pray?
  • Who is God and what has He done? How can you express your answers in adoration of God when you pray to Him?
  • Why should you desire that others adore God?
Talk it Over Discussion Guide
  • Interpretation – What is the text telling/showing us?
  • What does it mean to extol God? To exalt Him?
  • Why is God worthy of exaltation?
  • List the characteristics and traits of God as reflected in this Psalm. What is wonderful about those things you listed, and why do they lead to adoration of God?
  • What is the basis for adoring God?
  • What is the meaning of God’s kingdom? Why is is a basis for adoring Him?
  • Why is it important that we tell God about who He is?
  • How is adoration of God expressed in this Psalm (example: verse 2 tells us to “bless” God)
  • How often should we adore God in prayer?
  • Implementation – What should the listener’s response be?
  • What is prayer?
  • What does it mean to you to commune with God?
  • Why do you desire to exalt God Do you adore Him, and if you answer yes, how do you express that adoration?
  • Describe how great God is as you have experienced Him. Do you agree with David’s assessment of God’s greatness?
  • How has God been good in your life? How does that make you feel and what should you tell God about that as you pray?
  • What does “God’s kingdom” mean to you? What is your relationship with God and His kingdom?
  • Do you feel near to God and feel Him near to you? How can you gain “nearness” to God?
  • How often should you express your adoration of God to Him?
Sermon Teaching Notes (as prepared by Pastor Dick Murphy)
  • Investigation – What’s generally going on in this area of Scripture?
These Notes begin a four part series on prayer. Certainly as a topic for study, we could spend a lifetime delving into prayer, but these four studies will have to do for now, though you are encouraged to make prayer a matter of your own study, learning and, more importantly, doing, for the rest of your life! In our study, we will look at four Psalms as they contain keys to what prayer is while answering the questions of how we should pray, for whom we should pray, when we should pray, and why we should pray.

We each likely have an idea of what prayer is, that it is at the very least conversation and communication with God. But in reality, prayer is so much more. It is literally communion with the living, sovereign, eternal God of the universe; it is basking in His presence; it is enjoying Him for all He is; it is offering praise and worship to Him using multiple means; it is interacting with His will as it is engaged on the earth; and it is growing to know Him more intimately and deeply. E.M. Bounds, who lived from 1835 to 1913, was an American author, attorney and pastor, who wrote 9 books on prayer which still sell. He writes this of prayer: “The driving power, the conquering force, in God’s cause is God Himself.” and then adds, “Prayer puts God in full force into God’s work.” (E.M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer, Moody Press Edition, 1980, @ p. 26). Bounds has it right; prayer indeed is our connection to God, made possible through Jesus Christ; it is our gateway into God’s throne room where we fellowship with Him. But always, always, prayer recognizes that God is the inestimable, unfathomable, wholly other One, who, though our Father, is unapproachable but for His grace. The prophet Isaiah in God’s presence cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5) Others in the Bible had similar experiences (See, e.g., Judges 13:22; Ezekiel 1:28). We thus come into God’s presence in prayer with a measure of fear and trembling simply because He is God Almighty. And yet He tells us to come to Him (Jeremiah 33:3), and even come boldly to Him (Hebrews 4:16), and in so doing to give Him glory in His holiness. So, before anything else prayer starts with God and is wrapped around all He is.

With the foregoing in mind, perhaps the key word is “adoration.” When we come to God in prayer, we “adore” Him, with all the many faceted nuances of that word, in recognition of who He is but also in love for and worship of Him. The Psalms are really the poetic songs of Israel; but they are also prayers. Psalm 145 is a Psalm that reflects this concept of prayer as adoration of God. It happens that this Psalm is one of many written by David, the famous king of Israel called the “sweet singer” of Israel (II Samuel 23:1) and of whom God said he was “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22) The Psalm is written from David's perspective but it is meant to be the perspective of all who approach God. Verse 1 begins right away by extolling (or, exalting) God: “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.” In typical Hebrew poetic fashion of parallelism, the second verse repeats the thought of the first verse but in a slightly different way: “Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.” The word “extol” means “to place on high, raise, elevate; to praise enthusiastically, go into raptures over, rave about, sing the praises of. In short, it means to lift up God's name above any and all other things in an enthusiastic, even rhapsodic manner. One does that about a person one adores and loves. We are to come to God with that heart and mind.

The adoration continues with a statement of God's greatness, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3) Because God is great, so great that His greatness is unfathomable, He is worthy of great praise. God knows this of Himself, of course; but by saying such in exalting Him in prayer, we remind ourselves of who He is. The Psalm continues by setting forth a litany of character traits, actions and aspects of God that merit His greatness and our consequent adoration. He is great because of His works and mighty acts (Psalm 145:4 & 5), His abundant goodness (Psalm 145:7), His righteousness (Psalm 145:7). His grace (Psalm 145:8), His mercy (Psalm 145:8), His withholding of anger (Psalm 145:8), His steadfast love (Psalm 145:8), His mercy (Psalm 145:9), His glorious kingdom
(Psalm 145:11 & 12), the everlasting nature of His kingdom and dominion (Psalm 145:13), His care for those who fall and those who need lifting up (Psalm 145:14). His material provision (Psalm 145:15), His spiritual provision (Psalm 145:19 & 20), His responsiveness to need (Psalm 145:18 & 19), and His judgment of the wicked (Psalm 145:20). Obviously, the foregoing is not an exhaustive list of God's attributes and character. However, it is a list sufficient to elicit awe and wonder, praise and thanksgiving, worship and exaltation of the living God being described, and especially as we meditate in prayer about each of those things on that list and what they say about God and us at the same time.

Not only do we need to extol God in prayer and meditate on His greatness (Psalm 145:5), but we also need to declare that greatness to all who would listen including ourselves (Psalm 145:6), and desire (and pray) that others who love God will make His greatness known from one generation to another (Psalm 145:4). Notice that even without such commendation, God's works themselves, as well as His fame, will speak for God's greatness. Thus, His “wondrous works” will speak of the “might of [His] awesome deeds” (Psalm 145:6 & 7), “pour forth the fame of his abundant goodness” (Psalm 145:7), and sing of His righteousness (Psalm 145:7). These same works of God in His greatness will speak of His kingdom (Psalm 145:11), tell of His power (Psalm 145:11), and make them known to all mankind (Psalm 145:12). God's greatness is so great that it extends to everyone, literally to “every living thing” (Psalm 145:15 & 16). But in the end, God's preservation is only to those who love Him (Psalm 145:20), whereas those who are wicked He will destroy (Psalm 145:20). And for how long will we continue to extol and adore God in prayer? For all time and beyond (Psalm 145:1 & 2, 13, 21)

When He walked the earth and taught His disciples to pray, Jesus began His instruction with these words: “Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9) With these words Jesus taught what David modeled in the foregoing Psalm of adoration, namely that prayer starts with God. When we begin with God in prayer, we recognize Him as Father. The word “father” signifies a personal relationship, indeed, a familial relationship. In Christ, we are related to God as part of His family, brought into a relationship with Him as His children. The Apostle John in his gospel put it this way, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12 & 13) A child comes from and relates to His or her father; likewise, having been born of God, we relate to God as our Father. Further, He is our Father who is “in heaven” which means that He is apart from us, above us, outside of us, and beyond us. God exists in a different plane, as it were, namely in heaven as opposed to “on earth.” Heaven is not so much a place as it is a realm in which God is, and over which God has absolute authority (Cf. Isaiah 6:1-4; Ezekiel 1:25-28; Daniel 7:9 & 10). As Lord over His realm, God exercises and extends His will, and His will includes His children. So to pray to our Father in heaven means that we come to the ruler over all in the context of His realm and in recognition of His power to accomplish His will even as it relates to us. And going still further, we acknowledge His greatness as God by “hallowing” His name. To “hallow” means to honor as sacred, to revere or to consecrate. Thus, to “hallow” God's name is to honor and revere Him as sacred and set apart, to exert His “otherness.” And in so doing, we express our adoration for God and our position as created ones, as His children who come to Him as creator God.

What an awesome thing is prayer! One of the reasons prayer is so awesome is that in prayer we approach the God of the universe in a personal way and express our adoration and praise for Him just for who He is and for what He has done. God is great and mighty, God is everlasting, God is holy other, God is good, God is famous and glorious, He is just and righteous, He is gracious and merciful, He is … we could go on, singing His praise. All told, it is sufficient in the moment to say He is worthy. And we say this to God when we pray, and underscore such truth to ourselves when we pray. So with King David, by praying we speak “the praise of the Lord … and bless his holy name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:21) Amen!