Glorifying Prayer
Thursday, October 8, 2009

“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High, Then call on Me when you are in trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory.” Psalm 50:14-15 

            John Piper says, “God is most satisfied with us, when we find the most joy in Him.”  God says to the psalmist, “Delight in Me, and I will give you the desires of your hearts.”  Surely Piper takes his lead from the psalmist, but they are both right.  God takes great delight in us when He is the centerpiece of our lives and we seek Him and serve Him and take joy in Him.  And I believe there is a real correlation between that fact and the power of our prayers.

            When we pray for our selfish desires, when we treat God as our celestial bellhop there to serve us when we call upon Him, you can bet it is not our prayers He is answering when we get what we pray for.  Someone else, whose joy and delight is the Lord, their prayers are the ones being answered, and we are just the coincidental recipients of those answered prayers.  Let’s take a look at the wonderful 50th Psalm to see that.

            First, we see clearly that God does not need us.  He said, “I don’t need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens.  For all the animals of the forest are mine and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Ps. 50:9-10)  There is nothing that we can contribute to God to make Him responsive to our needs and wants.  He already has all He needs for joy – He is joy within Himself.  So we cannot bribe God by our offerings and light weight prayers.  He is self sufficient.

            But there is something that does drive God to be responsive to us.  It is glorifying Him.  Paul wrote, “Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do, do for the glory of God.”  The psalmist put it this way.  “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God and keep the vows you made to the Most High.  Then call on Me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory.” 

            You see the problem in our modern prayers is that we pray for our needs, not God’s glory.  Our delight is in the gifts of God, not in God Himself.  Our wants are selfishly motivated.  Our deep longings are not from a broken and a contrite heart, but of some unfilled relational or material need.  And we cannot fool God.  He will not answer our prayer if we pray for our personal motive.  He sees to the core of our hearts.  He knows even as we pray if we will give Him glory or go on as before.  He will rescue us from our troubles, only if that rescue will bring glory to Him.

            So if you find your prayers have no power, then examine three things.  First examine your view of who God is.  Are you humbled by the glory and grandeur of your God, or do you think God owes you something?  Secondly, are your prayers given up to Him out of a delight in Him, or they offered up to give you delight in a servant god?  And third, are you praying your prayer that God’s glory might increase, or are you praying to get what you want?  God delights in our thankfulness to Him, in our exaltation of Him, and in our desire that He be made holy in the eyes of the world.  And when we pray with that in mind, don’t be surprised if those prayers become reality – “delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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