The Bible teaches that we enter “into His courts with praise” (Ps. 100:4); thus, all prayer should begin with worship, humbly bowing our hearts before our King.
God is the Supreme Ruler over all creation (Ps. 89:11-13). Earthly rulers are but shadows in the light of His greatness. The Kingdom belongs to God; He is the only Monarch. God is the most powerful; His throne holds sway in all worlds. Heaven exalts Him, hell trembles before Him, and the whole earth gives Him glory, either willingly or unwillingly (Ps. 89:5; Luke 19:37-40).
So the first purpose of our prayers should be the worship and adoration of our God, Who alone is worthy.
In the feasts of the Old Testament, everything was brought in worship to God first. Then the offerings were sometimes given back to the worshipper for his own use. So, too, must we first worship our God, giving Him the glory and exaltation that He alone deserves. Then we can offer our requests, and allow Him to return back to us as He so desires.
Our worship does not earn anything from God. Nor is God like us in that He desires our praise to feel better about Himself. But worship from the creation to the Creator reminds us of just how great, powerful and all-loving God is – how worthy He is to receive our praise!
WELCOMING GOD’S PRESENCE
Worship also welcomes God’s presence, and creates an atmosphere that allows Him entrance. “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (Ps 22:3). In the King James translation, this same verse reads: “But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
The original Hebrew word for “enthroned” and “inhabitest” is yawshab. It means to “sit down, settle or remain”. Though God is everywhere present, these verses help us understand that praise invites God to come and dwell with us in a unique way.
When God’s people truly worship the Lord, His Kingdom power and rule come and abide in that setting. Worship provides an entry point so that His Kingdom can “come” and His “will be done” in human circumstances.
There is no better way to approach the throne of God in prayer than to begin with worship, welcoming His presence and rule right where you are.
PRAYER GLORIFIES GOD
Our prayers can also be a form of worship. The very act of praying to God is a declaration that He exists. Prayers are the continual proclamation that “the Lord, He is God” (Deut. 7:9; Ps. 100:3).
When we ask for and receive special mercies, we declare that God is a living, active God, Who is near and Who hears us. When we ask for His blessing, we declare that He can provide. When we say as Jesus did, “not my will, but Thine, be done” (Luke 22:42 kjv), we exalt God’s sovereignty and power. When we ask for forgiveness, we proclaim that He is a God of grace.
When we humbly pray, it is a reminder that God is the Sovereign Lord, the Creator, the One Who gives life and sustains it, and the Giver of every good and perfect gift (Ps. 97; Ps 104; 1 Tim. 6:13; Jas. 1:17; Rev 4:11).