“Prayer is abandoning all other objects of worship and giving myself to the daily worship of God alone.”
In 2005, I was given the devotional, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman (and updated by Jim Reimann). I didn’t know just how difficult my life was about to become nor did I know how helpful this little book would be to me during that journey. I wore out my first copy and replaced it with one with a faux leather cover, and I have read through this new copy many times. It is highlighted and tabbed and notated. I recommend this devotional frequently, especially for those who are walking through a difficult time.
I have dabbled in other devotionals through the years, but none ever spoke to me like Streams in the Desert … until New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.
Every day the author reminds me of wonderful truths out of the Word of God. The entry about prayer for September 13th continues to speak to my heart. Here’s an excerpt (just three of the seven points he makes in the devo):
I shouldn’t have to say this, but I think it is necessary—prayer is an act of worship. It is profoundly more than bringing to God our grocery lists of self-defined wants and needs. Here are seven ways in which prayer is rooted in worship:
1. Prayer acknowledges God’s existence. This is the bottom line of all true prayer. It begins and ends with the recognition that there is something more ultimate in the universe than you. Prayer places emphasis firmly on the first four words of the Bible: “In the beginning, God . . .” So prayer is an acknowledgment of God as Creator and Sovereign. It is rooted in assent to his power, wisdom, and rule. It would make no sense to pray if you thought that God was your equal.
2. Prayer bows to God’s glory. This is the constant requirement of prayer. You cannot pray properly without recognizing that there is a greater glory in this universe than your own glory or the variegated glories of the physical created world. Prayer is recognition that no created glory can or will ever satisfy the heart of the one who prays. It flows from the understanding that it is only when you live for the glory of God that your heart can rest content.
3. Prayer submits to God’s plan. Prayer is not asking God to endorse and resource your plan for your life. Prayer is recognition that the One who made the world, including you, knows what is best for you. As the psalmist says, “the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether” (Ps. 19:9). Prayer is not bringing your list and asking God to sign on the bottom. Prayer is handing God a blank sheet that you have already signed and trusting him to fill it out as he sees fit.
Yes, Lord. Here is my signed, blank sheet of paper. I trust You to fill it out as You see fit.