Monday, April 4, 2011

Prayer, Part Six: Praying with Faith

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Paul gave God the glory. When Paul prayed, he made lots of requests for himself and his friends, but he also burst into praise and declarations of faith.

My definition of faith is a simple acrostic I learned at Bible camp when I was a teenager: Focus Aimed into the Heavens. That is what I mean by praying with faith: lifting your eyes from our own circumstances and concerns to focus on our great God, declare our faith in Him and praise Him.

Christ is in control, He is trustworthy, and without Him I am powerless. He is worthy of our faith and trust because He is faithful.

God is faithful; by Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.(I Corinthians 1:9)

...the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one.
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith...(Hebrews 12:2)

Lord God of Hosts, who is strong like You, Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds You. (Psalm 89:8)

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; Your rule is for all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all His words and gracious in all His actions. (Psalm 145:13)

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
faithful love and truth go before You. (Psalm 89:14)

God, within Your temple, we contemplate Your faithful love...(Psalm 48:10)

My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life.(Psalm 64:3)

The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night—a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)

For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abundant in faithful love to all who call on You. (Psalm 86:5)

For the Lord is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5)

As I meditated on Paul's prayer, I realized that “glory” is one of those words I hear at church and use when I pray, without thinking about what it means. Its English definition includes the words “fame, praise, honor, splendor, worthy of praise.”

When we pray, we give God glory—that is, praise and honor. We also recognize that He is glorious—worthy of our praise. And when we ask Him to answer our prayer “for His glory” we are saying that we are seeking not our own will, not our own fame, but His. We ask Him to answer our prayers in a way that will not bring honor to us, but to Him. We are saying “Christ over us”—expressing our desires and our wishes but also asking God to overrule them if that will bring a greater glory to Him. Praying for His glory expresses both our faith and our humility.

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