God wants intimacy with us. He wants us to move beyond reciting the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
If there is one psalm that conveys intimacy with God it’s Psalm 63. The entire Psalm is a beautful prayer, but in particular verses 1-8…
Psalm 63 (NKJV)
O God, You are my God;
Early will I SEEK You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the SANCTUARY,
To see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your loving kindness is better than life,
My LIPS shall PRAISE You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will LIFT UP MY HANDS in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my MOUTH shall PRAISE You with joyful LIPS.
6 When I REMEMBER You on my bed,
I MEDITATE on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
This Psalm reminds me of the intimancy of when you first fall in love how you wake up with that person ON YOUR MIND (Meditation), but simply thinking about them isn’t good enough…
You want to be in their presence so you SEEK THEM first thing in them morning, so you can TALK TO THEM (pray) in person and tell them how much you love them….
Sometimes you can even get on your friend’s nerves because you are EXPRESSING HOW GREAT YOUR LOVED ONE IS (praise).
MEDITATING (vs 6,7)
When God and His word are on your mind, that’s meditating on Him. It’s fellowshipping with Him in your mind, because He knows your thoughts…so since He knows your thoughts meditating on Him is also communicating with Him which is prayer too.
PRAYER (vs 1-11)
However, even though God knows our hearts, He also expects us to speak to Him if we are able. There’s power in our words. He told us in Romans 10:9 that even though we BELIEVE in our heart, we also have to CONFESS with our mouths that Yeshua, Jesus Christ is Lord to be saved. Prayer is an intimate conversation with God. It’s the awesome privilage of being able to communicate with Him through our Lord and Savior. Also, when we pray with and for one another others benefit from our faith. God promises to be there when we agree in His name (Matthew 18:20). Sometimes, you just have to go beyond thinking of your loved one…you want to TELL them.
PRAISE (vs 3-5)
God tells us to PRAISE Him with the fruit of our lips and the heavenly hug of outstretched hands. Praise is a public testimony of our faith, love, affection and devotion to God. It’s a PDA…sometimes you just want to hold Your boo’s hand in public. How many times have you saw lovers kissing in public and thought, ‘get a room’. They aren’t ashamed. Are you ashamed to show you affection for God? When you tell God verbally out loud in public how you feel about Him you are communicating with Him and both PRAISING and PRAYING.
Remember how Hanna was praying silently, and God stillheard her prayer…
1 Samuel 1:12-14 ,17(NKJV)
12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.
You can pray silently or verbally, and in that prayer you can tell God how awesome He is…that can be MEDITATION, PRAYER AND PRAISE.
You can tell others of God’s greatness or express it to Him verbally, or mentally with outstretched hands…that’s MEDITATION, PRAYER AND PRAISE.
They are all distinctly different, yet all so much the same…intimate connection with God.