Well, the promised True Confession is in draft form and still evolving. To give you a teaser, the confession involves this:
But today, I am practicing adoration. I need to learn to say, “I love you,” well.
Via my Call to Growth study, I realized most of my prayer to God falls under the petition (asking) category. And even my thankfulness does not suffice.
Few Christians have a clear, crisp understanding of this subject. They tend to confuse adoration with thanksgiving. When we thank God for what He does, we are gratefully recognizing His answers to our petitions. Adoration, on the other hand, focuses on God Himself, rather than the things He does.
(Call to Growth, p. 22)
Okay, but, how do I adore God in prayer? According to Call to Growth, here is an example:
“Lord, You are faithful. Your love is everlasting. Your wisdom is perfect. What am honor it is to be Your child.”
Those things are true, and it is such an honor to be His child. But adoration in prayer is so foreign to me, and I have never practiced it. So, I don’t even know how to start.
I glance back at my reading in Call to Growth, and find this:
You may be saying, “I don’t feel comfortable telling God things like that. Do you remember your first date or the first time you tried to say, “I love you?” Though everything in you knew that to be true, still the words were hard to say. But when they finally came, they meant so much to the one you loved. Adoration is like that. God is waiting for a generation of people who will be shamelessly, head-over-heels and openly in love with Him. Why? Is it because God’s ego needs to be stroked? No! It’s because he knows that we need to learn how to express our love. To say, “God, I love You. You are great!” will not embarrass Him, and it shouldn’t embarrass you.
(Call to Growth, p. 23, emphasis mine)
Wow. I do love Him, but I need to work on this. The closest I come to true adoration is during worship music, or on a walk in nature.
And so I began deliberately practicing. My first efforts at adoration in prayer were using the example above, and they were halting…stuttering, even. So, today, I practice further with Colossians 1: 15-17. Like that person on a tender date, struggling to say the words, I practice offering this back in prayer, to the Lover of my soul:
And You, Sweet Jesus, are the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation! For by You all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created by You and for You. And You are before all things, and in YOU all things hold together.
(And yes, for me, they do.)