This article by popular blogger Catriona Murray, is the first in a four-part series to coincide with the National Day of Prayer on the 30th November - St Andrew's Day.
For more information and resources please follow this link - NDOP 2017
Psalm 100 perfectly sets the tone for how we are to begin our prayers – ‘enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise’. We are to approach our Lord with these words of adoration already on our lips.
Go unthinkingly and hurriedly towards Him, and we may not remember who we are addressing.This is the Lord who brought everything into being – He has numbered the stars, the sand on the beach, the hairs on your head. He is the God that we have disobeyed and sinned against, despite our utter dependence on Him.
And he is the God who, despite all this, provided us with the means – at great cost to himself – of salvation. This is the Father who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
What perfect love the Father has lavished on us. We sinned against Him, and he loved us. Not love as humans love, but a perfect, wondrous, awe-inspiring love. There is nothing in us to deserve that; it is all of his grace. He chooses to love, and where he loves, he is faithful to all eternity.
He made you, and this world you inhabit. All of it was perfect as only the work of his hand can be until we marred everything with our sin.
This God who holds the power of everything in his divine hand, he gave each of us breath, and he can stop it in an instant. Why, then, did he not sweep us all from the chessboard of time when we warped the beauty he had made?
Because, in the eyes of an infinitely merciful Father, some spark of that loveliness rests in us still. It is magnified when he regards us through the filter of his own Son's perfection.
He made us, he loves us, and he has gone to the greatest lengths to save us.
Approach his court with praise and thanksgiving as never before. Let him hear the song of your heart before you come to the gates, which open wide to receive you - wide, like the Father's arms. Kneel, then, at the throne of grace.
Lift up your song of worship, and let the unsaved hear. He has done everything perfectly. And even when our blind eyes are finally opened to his unparalleled worth, he does not simply accept the praise as his due: he rewards you still further by revealing more of his beauty so that you wish to linger forever at his feet.
How can a sinner saved by grace fail to love this God? In his presence is the promise of a glorious and perfect eternity.