I was looking through my stash of collectables (souvenirs and such) and was reminded at some of the amazing things that I’ve experienced. Let’s put this in context: I’ve never been to Europe or California, I’ve never been to a super bowl or world series. So the memories I have may be different than some of yours, but the ones I’m referring to all made me say and feel one word, WOW.
A little pack of guitar picks from a John Mayer concert brought me back to experiencing the exceptional talent of John Mayer’s playing and writing. WOW.
A golf towel from the 2013 PGA championship in Rochester reminds me of two full days of walking alongside professionals who make a hard game look easy. WOW.
A green (Spanish) Sprite bottle filled with sand took me back to a vacation Janet and I were on in Cuba. WOW.
Little shoes the size of my palm reminded me that our 13 year old son was actually that small. WOW.
A little dress the length of my forearm reminded me that our 10 year old daughter was once that size. WOW.
What wows you? What in your past made you just say – WOW? Was it an experience, a relational moment, nature, sports, faith, or others?
In these 3 connected talks/posts, we’ve been talking about three words to make prayer simple – HELP, THANKS, WOW. We know that help is a word we use when we’ve hit a wall. Thanks is a word we use when we’ve stopped to reflect how good God is. Wow is a word we use when we’ve come to grips that God is bigger, stronger, more loving, creative and powerful than we had ever imagined.
It seems like we get caught in complacency when it comes to being wow’d by God. When aware, we see God’s creation, God’s power, God’s provision, and stand in awe of it all. What often happens is that our heads begin to drop and our vision fades of all that’s above us, all that God has done, and does is – we lose sight of it. Is it possible that our machines have driven much of this? Mark Buchanan says that our screens have replaced the heavens (Book: Your God is too safe).
There are at least two things (many more of course) the scripture encourages us to look at and be WOW’d with: God’s Creation & God’s Character.
Psalm 19 fills us in on God’s great creative power…
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim
the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a
bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The Psalmist is trying to get our attention here. He wants us to have no doubt in our minds, God is the creator, and all we have to do is look up to see what he’s done. The metaphor of the skies and sun are beautiful.
Being WOW’d by God’s character, especially in prayer, is seen and taught by Jesus. In Mathew 6, while teaching on prayer, Jesus tells us to start our prayers by acknowledging God for who he is. “Our Father, who art in heaven, holy is your name”. Think about this: before we ask for his will to be done, before we ask for daily bread, before we ask for forgiveness, Jesus says we should acknowledge God’s location and character – he’s in heaven & he’s holy. Only after we are WOW’d at who God is will we have the confidence to go to him for all the other things Jesus lists in the prayer.
We also see this in Proverbs 3, ‘Acknowledge him (God) in all your ways and he will make your paths straight.’ Before we invite God to fix stuff, we need to acknowledge that he is the only one who can. Acknowledging God is also the first step of worship. When the church gathers to sing God-songs, we do so to remind ourselves of our God, the one who creates, loves, saves, heals, etc. Basically, in worship, we are WOW’d by God once again.
Here’s the bottom line, don’t lose the wonder in your prayer life. Be continually awestruck by God. Mark Buchanan put’s it so well when he says, “Don’t ever let a faith based on staggering mysteries (trinity, incarnation, cross, resurrection, the Holy Spirit) lose it’s wonder and awe.”
On your next walk…
During your next drive in the country…
In your next conversation with your child…
While hanging out with wonderful friends…
During your next very tasty meal…
The next time you gather to worship with a church community…
When you take your first ‘awake’ breath in the morning…
Be sure to say & pray … WOW!!!