“Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:2)

With the deaths that we each have suffered through over the years and the funerals that we have attended, one thought comes clear to our minds is that it could be us in that coffin. It becomes strikingly clear that death for each of us is always near. We live our lives thinking someday we will face death, but it is still tomorrow. We know it is coming and that each one of us has an appointed time to pass. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) For some death is but a door to the streets of Heaven, and for the most it is a door to a bottomless pit of torment. I have recently been thinking about the judgment that follows in that twinkling of an eye.

In that twinkling, we will become face to face with God, and I wonder how I will respond to the moment. Certainly, I will be humbled, as I have never faced a Divine deity. I did appear before a judge once with the attitude I was going to straighten his honor out on the charge against me. I was humbled when I went into the chamber of a man who had the power over life and death. The truth is we all will be humbled. We best forget about all the bravado, as it certainly will be scorned. I have been working out in my mind the mannerism I should have before a Holy Divine God. I found lead to the Lord’s Prayer and there found the answer I was looking for. (Matthew 6:9-13) The answer is Prayer, Praise, Petition, and Glory. PPPG an acronym to remember.

PPPG is found in the Lord’s Prayer, but the prayer is not only about facing God. The prayer can speak of another element with Prayer, petition and glory incorporated in them. It is not only how we should converse with the Lord, but how we should live our daily life and also our relationships in life. Because we will face God in a twinkling, but we are in His presence every moment, and it is how we should live in each moment. “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)

The Lord God Almighty delights in providing for His children. God has brought His children out of a broad and unrighteous world into the fellowship of those seeking His righteousness, “He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19) The most intimate is we can communicate with our Lord in Prayer. Prayer is a divine conversation with our Divine God. If the question is how we react when face to face with God, then in prayer we should carry the same formality.

We have gone to our parents when we have needs and wants. We should also go to our Heavenly Father for the same reason. We are in a world that has forces greater than our own. We are involved in a spiritual battle that is being fought in heavenly places, and their power is superior. The concerns that we have for our family, friends, associates, our nation, and a host of other issues are overwhelming. We need counsel, and we need help. We can do what we can, or we can call upon the Lord in prayer. The Bible is God’s prayer for us to learn the knowledge and wisdom to use that knowledge. Going to that source of knowledge and wisdom is the best place to seek council. We need not suffer ourselves for the purpose of our pride. The Lord calls us to pray for the fellowship. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

In prayer and supplication, we are called to reason together with our God. Do not miss the word supplication. Supplication means to ask humbly with earnest. We cannot demand anything from God, we must ask, and we do so because He is God and we are but His creature. We are earnest because we are in need and it is our Lord that can lead us to the perfect solution. We must come to Him in faith that He can and will answer, that He will guide and counsel and that He is love and will provide in that context. Faith is the exercise that we live as He has answered. Doubt is the opposite of faith. “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)

No one has seen God but the Son. God is a Spirit, and none of us have spiritual eyes in our heads. We do have a spirit that was breathed into us by God, and if we have faith we can see God through our spirit. We believe God is, and faith is the execution of that belief. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

There is another acronym when talking about prayer, and that is ASK. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)  James the half-brother of Jesus tells us we have not because we do not ASK.  (James 4:2) We must bring that need and want before the Lord in prayer. The Lord can answer in the blink of an eye, but more often we have to seek the answer. It may be that the Lord has provided an opportunity to receive, but we must seek it. Sometimes that seeking may take persistence for us to find, and we must keep knocking on the door until the Lord opens it. God answers prayer when our intentions of the heart are pure. He answers prayer for His glory. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

When we enter into His courts, we are to enter with praise on our hearts and lips. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4)  Praise is a thank offering to the Lord for the blessings we have received by His grace towards us. When we enter into the court of His throne of grace we must praise Him as the heavenly host at His throne. “And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) The Lord gives us many blessings that none other can. The most important one is this day. A day in which He has plotted out a plan and purpose for you to accomplish for His Glory. This privilege and responsibility given to us are worthy of our Praise. “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

Now that we have given our God honor by our praise and thankfulness for the grace that He has shown towards us, we can ask Him to fulfill our needs and wants. When my sons were young they would aggravate me by saying when I arrived home from work, “Hey pops I need some money for this or that.” Their coffers were not increased until I received a proper welcome home. Still, we are to be humble and earnest in our request. There is no doubt that the Lord will answer our request. He sacrificed Himself to redeem and restore us to a right relationship with Him. There is no doubt that He knows better than us our needs for life in this world, and our wants to complete His ministry and our desires. Let us not forget the advice that the Apostle Paul gave to his son in the faith Timothy. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

There is nothing better than the prayers we offer for others. It is a demonstration of our love for our family, friends, and neighbors. We should offer our prayers for the leadership of the nation that they would seek and find the will of God in dispatching their duties to the country. By our faith, we know that the Lord hears our prayers, and the He in His grace towards us will answer. The answer may not be the answer we want, it may not come as quickly as we expect, but in the context of His love, it will be the perfect answer to work towards our good. When we accept His judgment and trust His wisdom, then we can find contentment and delight in His loving-kindness and have a cheerful heart. The Lord loves a cheerful heart. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. On earth, the man was the culmination of His creation in the six days. He created the heavens and aligned them to support the position of the earth, to support the life on earth, for which that life supports mankind. Each new day is an individual gift to mankind. “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) All this was given to mankind to have dominion over, to be good stewards of, and for mankind to give glory to the Lord. All that mankind has, and all that mankind does, is reason enough to give God the glory. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

As we are members of His Kingdom, the Children of God must live as citizens of His Heavenly Kingdom here on earth, as we will when in His Kingdom in Heaven. We are ambassadors of Him, lights of His glory to shine before men that through us they will see the loving=kindness of our Heavenly Father. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” (1 Peter 1:14:15)

By the Lord’s loving-kindness, He delights in giving us that which we need and the wants we have to show His glory. Our God is a God of love while the manmade gods all are gods of want. They are empty gods needing us to exist in the vacuum of nothingness. As God delights in giving to His children let us delight in giving glory back to Him. “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.” (Psalm 115:1)

The old saying, “like father like son” is this, as the Heavenly Father is so should His children. If in prayer, which should be constant, we apply this acronym, prayer, praise, petition, and glory, then we should as the Heavenly Host through the creation and make it a way of life constantly. “Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!” (Psalm 148:2) Only the Lord is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving for the work He has done for each of us.

If the question is how we should approach God Almighty, as in that twinkling, we could be face to face with our God, and we should live this day in the faith of that day to come. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Revelation 5:12-13)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, November 15, 2019

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