Summary: This is the final address of my LENTEN SERIES ON PRAYER. I can't commend enough Richard Foster's book entitled simply Prayer if you are serious about Prayer

Prayer of Adoration and Sacramental Prayer

This is the fourth study in our series on Prayer

In the first week we looked at

1. Simple Prayer and

2. Praying the Ordinary

And in the second week we looked at

3. The Prayer of Relinquishment

4. Formation Prayer and

Last week we looked at

5. Prayer at Rest and

6. Unceasing Prayer

This week I’d like to look at two further topics

1. Prayer of adoration and

2. Sacramental Prayer

1. Prayer of Adoration

Story: I was driving home last year from a New Wine meeting in Margate when I put on a Dolly Parton CD.

And as I listened to track 7, I was struck by the words of the song entitled “Coat of Many colours”

PLAY CD Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colours"

The story is of a young girl whose family is given a box of rags of many colours.

The family is so poor that her Momma has to sew her a coat of many colours from that box of small rags.

Dolly Parton sings this:

Momma sewed the rags together

Sewing every piece with love

She made my coat of many colours

That I was so proud of

So with patches on my britches

Holes in both my shoes

In my coat of many colors

I hurried off to school

Just to find the others laughing

And making fun of me

In my coat of many colours

My momma made for me

And oh I couldn’t understand it

For I felt I was rich

And I told them of the love

My momma sewed in every stitch

And I told them all the story

Momma told me while she sewed

And how my coat of many colors

Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn’t understand it

And I tried to make them see

That one is only poor

Only if they choose to be

Now I know we had no money

But I was rich as I could be

In my coat of many colours

My momma made for me

You might wonder what this has to do with the “Prayer of Adoration.”

Well as I was driving home, I realised that the coat of many colours that God had given to me was MY LIFE – and the little rags were those small events that made up my life.

One small couplet of words struck me as I drove and it was this

“Momma sewed the rags together

Sewing every piece with love

She made my coat of many colours

That I was so proud of

And as I thought of the little rags – those small events of my life that God had woven in ot the tapestry of my life – the coat of many colours with love I was thankful.

Each of the small events – my going to public school (Charterhouse) in Godalming, the precious gift of my wife, the wonderful time as a patent agent flashed before me as God’s precious gift of love to me and of course the children.

“Prayer” Richard Foster says is “the human response to the perpetual outpouring of love which God lays siege to every soul”

Adoration is the most direct of our replies to that love of God.

Foster says: Adoration is the spontaneous yearning of the heart to

i) Worship

ii) Honour

iii) Magnify and

iv) Bless God

And we will of course recognise all these words in the Psalms.

For in adoration we don’t ask for anything, we simply exalt God

Douglas Steere, the Quaker philosopher puts it well when he says: “In the prayer of adoration, we love God for himself, for his being, for his radiant joy.”

Story: In 1996, Maddy and I went to the Toronto Vineyard – (famous for what the Daily Telegraph once dubbed the “Toronto Blessing” )

And some of the times of worship – of adoring God - were so powerful that it was as if we were lifted up to heaven

There was such a thrill of adoration there . It became a place where I could leave all my problems at the door and simply enjoy worshipping the Lord.

It was a time that was so refreshing

There are two sides of the Prayer of adoration

1. Thanksgiving

2. Praise

In thanksgiving we give glory to God for “what he has done for us”

In praise we give glory to God “for who He is “

But don’t be surprised if you mix the two together – after all the Biblical writers did

Take Ps 35:18

“I will thank you in the great congregation

In the mighty throng I will praise you (Ps 35:10)

We find the OT “soaked with thanksgiving” to quote Richard Foster – and especially the Psalms

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