Focused on God
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8:1
Most of my prayers are petitions, asking God for something; or they’re laments, complaining about something. Sometimes, they’re filled with thanksgiving for something God has done for me. Very few are focused on God, not on myself.
Adoration is a prayer focused on God. We adore him by humbling ourselves: raising our hands, bowing, kneeling, or prostrating ourselves–face down on the floor. But what do we say?
Turn to David for inspiration. Even though Psalm 8 is a song, it’s a model prayer of adoration. Flat on his back at night as a shepherd boy, away from the city, David must have felt awed by the moon and stars displayed above him. He praised God for his glory—unreachable, yet visible for all to see.
“But God,” David asked, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” He referred to creation and the human dignity and dominion God had given to Adam and Eve. As we look around, we don’t see human beings having dominion over the earth, crowned with glory and honor . . . ruling over the works of God’s hands. And we certainly don’t see “everything under [our] feet” (compare Psalm 8:4-8 and Genesis 1-2).
Genesis 3 tells us how Adam and Eve’s sin brought a curse on themselves and creation. But that curse is only temporary. From Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22:12, we read about God’s plan of redemption, which centers on sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to do what Adam and Eve couldn’t do, what we can’t do—to perfectly obey God and to become the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus conquered death, and God put “all things under his feet” (Ephesians 1:22).
What’s more, God has imputed Jesus Christ’s righteousness to us (Romans 8:18-25). Someday the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God (v. 21).
Shout a prayer of adoration: “’Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You set your glory in the heavens’ and we eagerly await the full revelation of your glory in us.”
Read Hebrews 2:5-11. How is God’s power displayed in “bringing many sons and daughters to glory”? What was Jesus’s part in this?
What was the context for Jesus quoting Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:1-20? What was he saying about himself? About the chief priests and scribes? About praising God?
What will Jesus Christ do with all the things “under His feet” according to 1 Corinthians 15:22-28? What does this say about God’s power and majesty?
What can you add to your prayer of adoration from Ephesians 1:18-23?
Nancy J. Baker
To read the introduction to the series on Prayer, click below: