When the Revolutionary War was over and the United States became a new nation, our country appointed John Adams as its new ambassador to England. When he arrived in London, Adams was to make his first appearance before George III, the King of England. But you did not just “show up” at the court. You had to have an audience scheduled with the King. And you would not just “saunter” in there, either. There was a certain procedure to follow, and Lord Carmarthen, one of the King’s courtiers, explained to Adams just what the procedure would be: Lord Carmarthen would escort him in the carriage as they pulled up to St. James’s Palace. Adams would be led up past lords and bishops in an outer room, to a formal reception room, where the King would be waiting inside. When the door opened, Adam must make three bows before the King: one as soon as he entered through the door; a second when he was halfway to the King, and a third when he was right in his presence. He would share a prepared speech, and when the King dismissed him, he would not just turn around and walk out, but would very carefully step backwards away from the King as he left. See, you did not just “barge” into the throne room of the King of England; there was a protocol you had to follow, or you would be unceremoniously hauled away from his presence!
Well, as Christians, the Bible says we have “boldness and confident access” to God through faith in Christ — but we do want to come into His presence in a way that is pleasing and appropriate for the King of Kings! How should we approach God? And especially, what should we say FIRST as we begin our conversation with Him in prayer?
Last week as we kicked off this series, we saw that Jesus gave us this Model Prayer to help us know the kinds of things that God wants us to talk with Him about when we pray. It is not a “script” we are just to “read back” to Him; rather It is composed of 6 basic requests which form an outline for what we should talk with Him about as we pray. And the very first line is: “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” This tells us that when we come into the presence of God, we are to begin with praise.Continue reading