May 18: “Prayer and God’s Glory”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 22:1–23:29
John 10:1-21
Psalm 115:1-18
Proverbs 15:18-19

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 115:1-3 (NLT): “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Why let the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In the verses that I have chosen for today, we come to understand that God’s glory is the basis for which we are to pray and expect God to respond.

Simply put, prayers that focus solely upon us don’t necessarily move God to action. But, when we ask for things that will demonstrate God’s glory (the wonder of who He is) to the world, He is much more prone to act.

Psalm 115:1-3 (NLT): “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Why let the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes.”

As the psalmist prayed these words, he made it clear that his primary motive was God’s glory.

He implied that the current circumstances, whatever they were, made it seem that the God of Israel was weak or absent. The pagan peoples were coming to the conclusion that the God of Israel could not help them … or maybe didn’t even exist.

So, the psalmist prayed that God would intercede. The psalmist prayed that God would be moved to action.

Why?

To protect His glory. To demonstrate to the onlooking peoples and nations that the God of Israel was alive and well and all-powerful.

Clearly, the psalmist asked God to intercede for the purposes of His own interests.

Psalm 115:1-3 (NLT): “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Why let the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes.”

Conclusion

So, my friend, what do your prayers sound like? Do your prayers consist of requests that are self-centered or God-centered? Are you constantly asking for things that focus on you as the ultimate beneficiary, or is God’s glory the ultimate aim?

To be sure, we are told to ask for what we need. Just read the disciple’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).

But, make sure that when you ask for God’s provision in your life, do so based on how it will positively impact God’s glory. God is happy when He is able to demonstrate his goodness and glory to the peoples of the earth as He draws people to Himself. When you pray in participation with this desire of God, your prayers are going to be heard.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Sen Lee on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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