Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ACTS: Adoration; What's God like?

Last week our congregation hosted a day of prayer. We had a prayer service (with litany) in the morning, followed by a prayer-walk, and then volunteers taking shifts during an all-day prayer vigil. The morning service was organized into four parts based on the acronym, A.C.T.S. which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. ACTS has long been a simple pattern which people can use to help them begin to have a more meaningful prayer-life, in some cases to even begin to speak to God.

Throughout the course of the rest of the summer, I'd like to post a number of essays exploring these ACTS. Hopefully, together we can grow closer to God and deepen our relationships with Him.

For many Christians, Adoration is a toughie. Is adoration the same as praise? Sort of. What does it mean to adore God? Personally, I usually end up in Thanksgiving when I mean to be in Adoration.

What makes God adorable? What makes Him worthy of praise? A good place to start might be what He calls Himself and what Old Testament Judaism called Him. These names reveal His character, who He is and what He does. Consider some of the following:

  • Adonai- "my Lord,"  or "my Master," that is, one to whom we bow, surrender, and obey
  • HaShem- a less formal, more familial version of "Lord," who is with us
  • Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh- "I will be," He is not just the god of now, but He will be the same today, tomorrow and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
  • Elah-avahati, God of my fathers, (Daniel 2:23)
  • Elah Elahin, God of gods (Daniel 2:47)
  • Elah Yerushelem, God of Jerusalem (Ezra 7:19)
  • Elah Yisrael, God of Israel (Ezra 5:1)
  • Elah Shemaya, God of Heaven (Ezra 7:23)
  • Elohim- "He who is the object of fear or reverence", or "He with whom one who is afraid takes refuge" the mighty one.
  • Elyon- Supreme
  • Roi- All seeing
  • Shaddai- "God who is sufficient," our supplier
  • Shalom- "the name of God is 'Peace'" (Judges 6:24)
  • Shekhinah- the presence or manifestation of God which has descended to dwell among humanity.
  • Yəhōwāh- He is who He is (emphasis on IS) the name God called Himself to Moses, the point being that He IS alive and here and now, not just the god of our dead forefathers.
  • HaMakom- "The Omnipresent"
  • Tzevaot- "the Lord of Hosts," king of the angels
So this is a great way to pray, to simply tell God who He is- meanwhile, you're reminding yourself who God is. As a matter of fact, this is an act of worship, invoking God, entering His presence. When we pray this way, we get perspective, we remember that God is God and we are not. Something we would do well to remember every day.

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