“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
David was able to go to the house of the Lord, Solomon built a house for the Living God and could visit anytime he chose to.
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
Sometimes in my mind’s eye when my lovely wife is praying for us, I envision a wide, very long chamber with massive white pillars on each side and I place myself prostrate on the floor, because I do not feel that I should be there, even though she is giving thanks and praise for the both of us, I see it as her time before the throne.
We are to pray without ceasing, which means that we are always either praising, thanking or asking for something from our Father in heaven, and I earnestly hope for you that the last one in that list of three is never preceded by the first two.
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
Thanksgiving should always be first when we enter into His courts, when we begin to pray, we must not think of ourselves first, but I fear that many do. It matters not how dire the circumstances may seem, if indeed you are hid in Christ, those circumstances were brought into your life by your Father, and we should be thankful for them.
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Our Lord knew before that body was prepared for Him His end on this earth, but only once did He ask if there was any other way. We must do the same. We must trust that He knows the path we cannot see, He knows what is up ahead while we are to walk by faith.
I do not know if it is possible to come to His courts grumbling, if it is wise to go there with our arguments and not think of thanking Him first. I believe many of us have a semblance of patience, giving God time to allow those circumstances we consider disadvantageous to us to work themselves out, so to speak, but the longer they draw on, the more we have a tendency to forget to give thanks, to praise His name and instead boldly go to the throne of grace with our requests first.
Just because the Lord understands something does not mean it is pleasing to Him, or proper for us to forget our place. We may be heirs with Christ to the Kingdom of heaven, but we are still servants, we may be blessed beyond everything that we can imagine, but it is only because of Him. Our foundation is Christ, it is faith that we have been blessed with, and faith must believe that the Creator and giver of life, even our eternal life, is always first and foremost worthy of all praise.
“Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.” (Psalm 57:11)
First things first, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6)
It does not matter how long He decides to wait before answering you, it does not matter what the answer is, when you enter your closet, first things first, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9)
Servants can say “why” sometimes, in the right remembrance of their place, they can question Him, with all reverence and humility, but we are never to say no to any of His requests.
First things first, give praise and thanks to the One you love above all others, then ask, then say “Thy will be done.”