Monday, March 1, 2010


O LORD, God-of Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to His covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands [from Nehemiah Ch 1]

Nehemiah starts his prayer with a exclamation of how awesome and great God is, and making mention of his loyalty and faithfulness. I suppose for a while there it had seemed to me that Nehemiah was (i) sucking up or shoe-shining to God, before asking for whatever it is he wanted ("Oh Santa, that beard is so soft - what conditioner do you use? Oh, and could I have an iPad pleeeaaase, pretty please with a cherry on top?");

or maybe others have thought Nehemiah was just (ii) telling/informing God how cool and wonderful he is ("Hi God you may-or-may-not be aware that you are great and awesome"). Much like how some folks think that God needs our worship; he needs us to tell him how great He is. Like He is Ultraman with His light beeping indicating low levels of energy and how he needs our worship to recharge his power (perhaps this is too far-fetched an analogy...)

God doesn't need anything. God is not someone we have to manja (sorry, there is just no English word for this) to get things our way.

I think Nehemiah starts his prayer as such, like Jesus starts his prayer in Matthew 6 ("Our Father in heaven" - no, it's not that Jesus needed to remind God his "address"), to recalibrate themselves their perception of God. To realigned themselves to who God is, in order to realign to His purpose. It's to remind us, wee humans, who we're dealing with.

I think worship is similar. We sing songs of God's goodness and hope and promise, not to make God happy because he likes the E major 7 chord. We sing such songs to remind us and to recalibrate ourselves to Him, and that makes Him happy.

Remind me to be recalibrated; remind me to remember who You are. Remind me that I will never stop needing reminders.

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