The longer I seek God, the more there is to find. It seems I get my head around one aspect of God’s character and another mystery appears. I feel the welcome of God’s tenderness and patience. Then I start discovering the rest of God’s protection and encouragement. Next, it’s learning to walk in God’s strength and guidance.
But what am I to do with God’s transcendent power and holiness and glory.
What am I to do with WOW?
“Wow means we are not dulled to wonder. … Wonder takes our breath away and makes room for new breath. That’s why they call it breathtaking.”
– Anne Lamott in Help, Thanks, Wow
To wonder, to WOW, is to be alive. It’s having eyes to see and hearts to thrill and souls quickening to respond. It’s Isaiah overwhelmed by a vision of God seated on the heavenly throne. (Isaiah 6:1-8). It’s Moses encountering God in a burning bush, a presence so near and divine he must remove his shoes for even the ground is made holy. (Exodus 3:5-6)
WOW is also found in small things, like the tiny toes of a baby or the stillness of a deep blue night, or a belly laugh spewing mashed potatoes across the diner counter.
The “size” of the inspiration doesn’t matter. What matters is how it awakens us. How it connects us to being fully alive. How we pause to acknowledge the One who makes it possible.
Classically, acknowledging God in this way is called praise. It’s often accompanied by proclamation and naming/claiming God’s promises. (3 P’s)
Don’t let the fancy church words intimidate you. Your acknowledgment doesn’t have to be profound or formal. It’s as simple as finishing a sentence.
Finish this sentence. God, you are…
This is how we praise God. We acknowledge who God is by naming God or an attribute of God. This can come from the scriptures or you can create it yourself.
God, you are the Light of the World. God, you are King of Kings. God, you are mighty. God, you are loving. God, you are near.
Now finish this sentence. God, you have…
This is how we proclaim God’s power, goodness, and blessing. It’s a form of testimony, of bearing witness. It may be something you read in the scriptures, saw in the news, or heard from a friend. It may be something you witnessed firsthand.
God, you have heard the cry of the needy. God, you have made a way in the wilderness. God, you have brought me healing and hope.
Finish this last sentence. God, you will…
This is how we claim God’s promises. We’ve acknowledged who God is and what God has done. Now we acknowledge that God will continue to be God and will continue to work all things for good. The promises of the scriptures and the testimonies of others are for you and for all.
God, you will never leave me. God, you will hear the cries of my heart. God, you will walk with me all my days, you will raise me to new life now. God, you will lead me home to heaven.
David Crowder in his book Praise Habit sums it up this way.
Let the knowledge of His transcendence bring us back to life. Let it flow like blood to sleeping limbs, and feel them tingle as they awake in awe. Shake life back into your hands and let them clap of His goodness. Shake life back into your legs and let them carry you running with wind and thunder. Shake life back into your chest and let your heart beat in pounding reverence. Let praise come face to ground, trembling with life and awareness that we are found by a holy God.
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas, dear ones. In the comments, share how you’re finishing these sentences. May these simple sentences bring you fully alive now and all year long. – Lisa <><
This is the third in a series of posts on Learning to Pray. Click here for the first post, God, Please Help. Click here for the second post, Thank You, God.
Learning to Pray- God, You Are © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
by Lisa Degrenia (www.revlisad.com)
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.