The book of Psalms is an important source of guidance to evaluate and grow your relationship with God. The Psalms stands as a sure platform from which you can pose questions about your relationship with God.
This is the fourth of four article that ask probing questions about your relationship with God. The topics in this fourth article comprise (1) God to Whom you pray, (2) God as the object of your praise and (3) God Whom you worship. I hope that by responding to these questions, you can engage God in a way that your relationship with Him flourishes into something special beyond words.
GOD TO WHOM YOU PRAY
For a believer, prayer to God is one of the most important spiritual disciplines to practice. Paul made that clear when he wrote Colossians 4:2 (NASB95), which reads:
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
Prayer provides two-way communication between God and a believer. Acts 4:24-31 (NIV) reports a bold prayer and a dramatic response by God:
24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Let’s ask some questions from Psalms about God to Whom you pray.
Questions about the God to Whom You Pray
When you pray to God, do you fully expect Him to answer, even if not in the way you wish? (Psalm 4:1).
Do you begin your day by praying to God? Do you eagerly look for God to answer to your prayer? (Psalm 5:2–3).
Do you experience answered prayer? (Psalm 6:9).
When in difficult circumstances, do you go to God in prayer? Do you ask God to take whatever action is necessary to rescue you? (Psalm 35:13; 54:1-2; 86:6-7).
Do you tell others about how God has answered your prayers? (Psalm 66:16–20).
Do you pray with intensity so that you “cry out” to God? (Psalm 88:1–2, 13; 102:1-2).
Do you ask God to count your prayers as incense before Him? (Psalm 141:1–2).
GOD AS THE OBJECT OF YOUR PRAISE
God is worthy of praise because of Who He is and what He has done, especially through His plan of salvation for all of mankind through the finished work of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 (NASB95) says it so well:
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Praise is throughout the Bible, and praising God will be for eternity in heaven. One stirring example is Revelation 5:11–14 (KJV 1900):
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
I suggest you spend some time visualizing this passage that displays endless praise to God.
Let’s consider some questions from Psalms that are about God as the object of your praise.
Questions about God as the Object of Your Praise
Do you praise God with all your heart, i.e., total being? (Psalm 9:1–2; 111:1).
Do you praise God for His power? (Psalm 21:13).
Do you praise God while in an assembly of believers? (Psalm 22:22–26).
Do you continually praise God? (Psalm 34:1; 119:164, 171).
Do you praise God in public? (Psalm 35:18, 28).
Do you ask God to open your mouth so you can praise Him? (Psalm 51:15).
Do you praise God because He is worthy to be trusted? (Psalm 56:3–4).
Do you praise God because He has given you His Word, i.e., the Bible? (Psalm 56:10–11).
Do you praise God because He loves you? (Psalm 63:3).
Do you praise God because of His goodness? (Psalm 106:1).
Do you praise God because He is an Advocate and Protector of the needy? (Psalm 109:30–31).
Do you feel good when you praise God? (Psalm 147:1).
GOD WHOM YOU WORSHIP
It should come naturally for a believer to worship God. By worshipping God, a believer evidences their submission to and the importance of God. According to Matthew 4:10 (NASB95), only God is worthy of worship:
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ “
Worship must be in spirit and truth per John 4:24 (NASB95):
24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Referring to vv. 21-24, one commentator[i] writes:
In this passage we find one of the strongest worship statements in the New Testament. Ten of John’s thirteen uses of the Greek word for worship appear in these few verses. We learn immediately that place is irrelevant and that worship is not primarily in body—through physical motions and activities—but in spirit. The text does not refer to the Holy Spirit but an attitude of heart which acknowledges God and his sovereignty over our lives. Furthermore, worship must be done in truth—honestly, biblically, centered on Christ. This paragraph shows the difference between religion and the gospel: religion describes humankind’s search for God; the gospel describes the way God reached down to humanity.
Let’s ask some questions about God Whom you worship.
Questions from Psalms about God Whom You Worship
Do you acknowledge God’s glory and glorify His Name when you worship Him? (Psalm 29:2; 86:9).
Do you show reverence for God in your worship of Him? (Psalm 95:6–7).
Do you acknowledge God’s holiness when you worship Him? (Psalm 99:5).
Do you regularly worship in an assembly of believers? (Psalm 132:7).
When I contemplate the above questions, one thing that stands out is the public nature of a believer’s relationship with God. Our faith is not supposed to be private meaning we are not supposed to play “quiet mouse” about our relationship with God. God expects us to tell the world about His answers to our prayers (Psalm 66:16-20). God wants us to praise Him in public (Psalms 35:18, 28).
We need to shout to the world “He is alive!”
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change.
Today can be the day of your salvation! Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved. You can also go to another article at my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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[i] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, p. 77). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.