I read a comic recently about a man asking his wife to pick up something at the grocery store, except he spoke to her in the way that a lot of us Christians pray nowadays. The conversation went something like: “Honey, if you could just, you know, maybe just pick up some milk, Honey. I want to just thank you, Honey, if you would, for just getting the milk.”
It sounds silly in that context, but isn’t that what our prayers sound like more often than not? We hem and haw to try to get the words right, instead of speaking our hearts. We box God in (maybe without meaning to) with our “ifs” and “justs.” We cut to the chase about what we need (perhaps more often, what we want) and gloss over praise, thanks, and confession.
What if we spent a day talking to God in prayer about how awesome and wonderful he is, without asking for a thing? In Psalm 103:20-22, David described how he wanted his soul to praise God like the angels in heaven. We could learn a lot by reading how the angels worship God. There are some very beautiful examples in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 7:12 (NIV), the Bible describes how heavenly hosts fall down in worship before God, exclaiming: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Earlier in Ch. 4, we read about heavenly creatures who repeat day and night: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
24/7, these heavenly citizens praise God. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to find 24 minutes to pause and pray. As we go through this week with the hustle & bustle of Christmas, let’s ask ourselves: Is Jesus “just” a feel-good story to think about once a year? Is he “just” the one you go to when you need something? Or, is he your all in all? Instead of getting caught up in the distractions of the season, let’s find time to reflect on God’s glory, wisdom, honor, power and strength, and praise him as the angels do.