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Oct 29 2013

How does prayer glorify God?

Whatever we do must be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The purpose of prayer must always be to glorify God.

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)

Praying in Jesus’ name means that when a Christian comes to the Father in prayer, they come as Jesus’ representative. In other words, when we pray in His name, we claim to be acting for Him. This is akin to what we know as a power of attorney. A person with a power of attorney has the legal right to make decisions for another. They are acting in that person’s stead. However, it is limited only to the authority granted. The person with a power of attorney is acting in the place of the person who has given the power of attorney. Any decision outside the authority granted in the power of attorney is not valid and cannot be enforced. When a Christian prays in Jesus’ name, they are acting for Him. However, a Christian can only act within the realm of the Father’s will as Jesus did (Luke 22:42, John 5:30, John 6:38, Hebrews 10:7). Jesus glorified the Father in all that He did and as such, if we are acting in His stead in our prayers, it stands that our prayers will glorify God.

If we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us (1 John 5:14).

Whatever we ask is united or tied to God’s glory. In other words, only requests that are seeking God’s glory is properly motivated and answered. Three times Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn in his side (2 Corinthians 12:7). God denied Paul his request and answered that His grace is sufficient and that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s was glorified in denying Paul his request because God’s power was made perfect in Paul’s weakness. Paul stated “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul’s prayer request to have the thorn in his side remove was a valid petition of God. However, it glorified God to not grant Paul’s request because it glorified God so much so that Paul boasted of his weakness so that the power of Christ would rest upon him.

When we pray, God’s glory MUST be our desire. The prayers that God hears and answers are based on God being glorified so that He is seen as one worthy of worship. It glorifies Him to answer our prayers but it must be His will.

In Luke 11:1, one of His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. What we call the Lord’s prayer is not a prayer that He is commanding us to repeat but instead is more of a pattern or a model on how we should pray. In His instruction, Jesus states that we should desire that His will be done. His will glorifies God. God’s will is directly related to His glory.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Sometimes it is difficult when He is more glorified by denying a request such as an illness that is not healed or a job that is not granted or saved from being lost. Again, we can see Paul’s valid request to have the thorn removed and it glorified God not to answer Paul’s request as Paul would have liked. Even Jesus, when contemplating His crucifixion asked to be “saved from this hour” but asked that God’s name be glorified.

Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. (John 12:27-28)

Jesus knew exactly what was coming and though He was deeply troubled, it was the Father’s glory that was supremely important to Him. How was God glorified? He was glorified by sending Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus’ death glorified God.

We take our requests to Him but we pray that His will be done. We pray it with our heart, not just something that we add on the end of our prayers. In requesting that His will be done will glorify God.

Photo Credit: Photographer Peter Griffin

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2 comments

  1. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    Thank you so much for this very pertinent explanation of how and when our prayers can honestly glorify God. I had never thought of it in these terms, and this is exactly right. I hope many will see and understand this, so that everyone will rightly pray in Jesus’ name — always knowing for sure that God’s will is right and good, no matter what our situation. We can and should trust Him.

    Margaret

  2. Faithwalks

    Hi Tishrei,

    And welcome back – I’ve been praying you would find the time to start posting God’s word again.
    How does prayer glorify God? Prayer glorifies God because if my petitions and requests are, ‘according to His will”, then my request is in agreement with God’s perfect will for my life and that honors God. I agree exactly with what you are saying, “only requests that are seeking God’s glory is properly motivated and answered.” “If we ask anything, ‘according to His will’, He hears us.” 1John5:14,15.

    God bless, and we miss you so please come back soon, Lord willing of course!

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