“True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and realization of His presence.” ~ Education, p242
“Humility and reverence should characterize the deportment of all who come into the presence of God…” ~ Patriarchs and Prophets, p252
We can come before God in confidence that He will not forsake anyone who comes to Him in humility and faith, but we must not approach Him in arrogance or with presumption. We are not to treat Him as though He is on our level. It is sad to note that there are people who approach and address the omniscient, omnipotent and holy God, as they would approach their fellowmen or those inferior to them.
The seraphims and angels in heaven veil their faces when they approach God Almighty. Yet, the fallen, sinful human race, come before Him with proud countenance and arrogance. Demanding and expecting God to give them whatever they ask Him as if God is a genie in a bottle.
Whenever we come before God to pray, that time is sacred, because God is there. Our demeanor and attitude towards prayer should be that of utmost reverence. Oh, that we may be cautious when we speak God’s name in prayer!
The first condition required to those who approaches God in prayer is humility and reverence. It is illustrated in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14: Pharisees were Jewish spiritual leaders and were respected by people as holy men. While tax collectors were labeled as outcast, sinner and hated by the people.
Both men went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee boasted to God his perfect obedience to the law and self-proclaimed righteousness. The tax collector on the other hand, cannot even lift up his head but is ashamed of his sinfulness, asking God to forgive him.
Jesus said in verse 14, “I tell you that this man [tax collector], rather than the other [the Pharisee], went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” emphasis mine.
May we take this in our hearts and remember the next time we pray.