In Awe of God (Ecclesiastes 5:1–3) - Radical

In Awe of God (Ecclesiastes 5:1–3)

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.
– Ecclesiastes 5:1–3

Wow, what a sobering call from Ecclesiastes 5 to you and me when we come before God, to not be hasty with our words, but to be intentional first to listen to God and then to speak in ways that honor who God is in ways that reflect a proper fear of and reverence for God. When we come before God in prayer, we’re not talking to him like we just talked to anyone else because God is unlike anyone else.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–3 reminds us to fear and revere God.

This is why I find myself many times saying to our family before we pray, before a meal, okay, let’s pause for a moment and think about who we’re praying to instead of just jumping into what can be if we’re not careful, just rote words. And I want to be careful here because we think about the New Testament exhortation, the command to pray continually.

I think about a brother named Robert Anderson who had a profound influence on my life, and one of the ways he influenced me is just teaching me to pray continually. He wouldn’t just wait for a set time. Okay, let’s pray now. We would be walking down the sidewalk and this older brother in Christ would, he’d just start conversing with God. And I don’t think he was being hasty with his words in that he knew God, he feared God and revered God, and it was evident in the way he spoke to God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–3 reminds us we should pray with fear and reverence.

So I guess that’s the question I would ask you is fear of reverence for awe of God evident in the way you approach God in prayer? And I want to lead us to pray that God would help us, and teach us to pray like that. So God, according to your Word in Ecclesiastes 5, and even at this moment as I’m praying, I want to be intentional with my every word. God. We don’t want to just say rote things or mindless things before you.

We want to pray with constant recognition of who you are and all of your holiness, all of your glory and majesty, and all of your justice and mercy and omnipotence and omniscience and infinite character. Oh God, help us, teach us to pray with proper fear of you. All of you wonder before you. And in this God, we pray that you would help us from not thinking our prayers are good enough at any point.

God, we praise you for your grace. We praise you for the privilege of knowing you as our Father. We praise you for hearing our prayers even when they’re not perfect. But God, we pray that you would help us to draw near to you, listening to you, aware of who you are in all of your glory. Help us to pray continually with words that reflect hearts and minds that are pleasing to you, that are glorifying to you.

Prayer for the Guibei Zhuang People

And God, even as we pray for unreached people, we pray today for the Guibei Zhuang people of China, 1.6 million of them worshiping all kinds of different spirits and God’s God.

We pray that your glory as the one true God, and that your salvation in Jesus would spread to the Guibei Zhuang people of China. We ask for that boldly before you. God, please cause the gospel to spread to them. God, we pray that you would help us, teach us to pray continually all day long today, and the fear of you with reverence and awe before you. In Jesus’ name, we pray in the name of the one who died and rose again to make communion with you possible. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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