Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.
Several times a year, we have the occasion to visit one of the world’s great museums located near our home, the Denver Museum of Nature
and Science. This immense building encompasses multiple floors of truly amazing displays that feature taxidermies of hundreds of crea- tures from around the world, a massive array of dinosaurs, thousands of samples of gems and minerals, and a fascinating array of insects and butterflies. Beyond this, the facility includes a space odyssey section and a separate planetarium that blows one’s mind with the realities of the universe. In addition, the museum houses an IMAX theater that reg- ularly takes viewers on captivating visual explorations of the depths of the sea, the expanse of the earth, and the wonder of the skies.
SUPPRESSING THE TRUTH
All of this is touted without a scant mention of a Creator. Rather, it is a tribute to evolution and the ingenuity of man’s powers of discovery.
The truth of Romans concerning the resolve of mankind to suppress the truth about the Creator resounded in my mind as I took it all in:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.
I usually leave the museum wondering how anyone with a sense of moral conscience could reject the power of a divine cause in light of all they witnessed. Yet, the Bible makes it very clear that a denial of the Creator leads to a lack of thanksgiving toward Him, which eventually culminates in futility of thought and utter foolishness.
On the positive side, when we accept the account of Genesis 1 and thus honor our majestic Creator and His immeasurable work, we are over- whelmed with earnest gratitude for His power, beauty, fathomless plan, and divine care. This is ultimate wisdom and sanity in a world gone mad.
OUR CREATOR AND OUR PRAYERS
How does this relate to prayer? Over the years, the foundational truths of our Creator and His creative power have shaped my praying and my leadership in prayer. I teach on this extensively in the book PRAYzing!: Creative Prayer Experiences from A to Z1 and expand on it in my coaching with pastors.
1. Daniel Henderson, PRAYzing!: Creative Prayer Experiences from A to Z
(Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2007).
We can be assured that God is not the author of boredom, espe- cially when we are communing with Him. The early verses of Genesis can serve as a boredom buster for individual and collective prayer experiences.
The opening verses of Genesis give us great insight:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1–3)
Based on these foundational truths, here are the applications that have helped me so powerfully.
We Always Pray to a Creative God
A. W. Tozer famously noted, “The most important thing about a person is what comes to mind when they think about God.” Genesis 1:1 should powerfully shape our understanding of Him and of prayer. God’s first explanation of Himself and first act in the history of man point to Him as Creator. Every time I lead in prayer, I am resting my confidence and anticipation in the truth that my God is absolutely cre- ative—far beyond my limited ability to comprehend. He is not a God of dull reruns. He does not mass produce duplicates. He is infinitely and beautifully creative in all of His works.
We Can Pray by His Creative Spirit
Genesis 1:2 speaks of the Spirit of God hovering over the dark and formless waters. By the power of the Spirit, the worlds were created. Now, as a redeemed Christ-follower, I can embrace the incredible truth
that the Spirit of God in Genesis 1:2 is the very Spirit that lives in me, guides my thoughts, and enlivens my heart.
Some folks might offer the excuse, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Thankfully, praying and leading in prayer is not about bones but rather about the indwelling Spirit of the Creator who guides our minds and leads our prayers. The Scriptures affirm this.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:9–10)
We Should Pray from His Creative Word
“And God said…” (Genesis 1:3). This was the spark of creation, His powerful Word punctuating the entire creation story. Today, our cre- ativity in prayer is fueled not simply by our meager thoughts but by the power and wonder of His Word, found in the Scriptures. I always begin my prayer time, and every prayer time I lead, from the Bible. This allows the Creator to start and guide the prayer conversation, leading to true alignment with His will and a deep transformation of mind and heart.
We Were Made to Pray in a Creative Way
Later, in Genesis 2:19–20, we see that God tasks Adam with naming all the animals. Think about that. How many animals? How long did this take? How much creativity had God placed in Adam to allow the first man to accomplish this task?
When we pray, we need to rest in God’s design that we were made to be creative. This is far beyond some pithy cleverness or attempt to
be original in our human wisdom. Rather, it is the full experience of our creative God and His design for the fullness of our God-given potential in knowing and enjoying Him. Sleepy, dull, lifeless, and lack- luster prayer is not worthy of the Creator or our Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed us and through whom the worlds were made. (See 1 Corinthians 1:30; John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16–17.)
I think the next time I tour that remarkable museum, I will again be amazed in the presence of the all-powerful Creator. Hopefully, I will have new and compelling motivation to seek Him, because through the finished work of His Son on the cross, I can access the holy of holies and embrace the power of His indwelling presence to enjoy transform- ing communion with Him. Yes, this motivates me to seek Him with biblical expectation and life-giving experiences in believing prayer. So, let’s call out to our glorious Creator together as we pray now.
Excerpted from “21 Days of Deeper Prayer: Discover an Extraordinary Life in God” by Jim Maxim with Daniel Henderson, © 2020 by Jim Maxim. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.
Free audio prayers found here: www.acts413.net/deeperprayer