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Prayer and worship

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Worship is turning to God in awe, praise and joy, as his people realise how wonderful he is. Prayer is a natural part of worship: to know God is to want to worship him and pray to him.

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Worship is a fundamental requirement of life

All nations are exhorted to worship God

1 Chronicles 16:28–29 NASB95
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the Lord in holy array.
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Israel is commanded to worship God

2 Kings 17:36 NASB95
“But the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice.
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Right attitudes in worship are imperative

Reverence and humility characterise acceptable worship

Hebrews 12:28–29 NASB95
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
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Honesty, without hypocrisy, characterises acceptable worship

Amos 5:21–24 NASB95
“I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
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Prayer can focus on different aspects of God’s character

Prayer can focus on God’s holiness

Exodus 15:11 NASB95
“Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?
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Prayer can focus on God’s glory

Psalm 19:1–6 NASB95
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
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Prayer can focus on God’s majesty

Psalm 104:1–4 NASB95
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.
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Prayer can focus on God’s kingship

Psalm 97:1 NASB95
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad.
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Prayer can focus on God’s love and compassion

Psalm 103:1–18 NASB95
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.
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Prayer can focus on God’s justice and righteousness

Psalm 97:2 NASB95
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
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Prayer can focus on God’s creative activity

Nehemiah 9:6 NASB95
“You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You.
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