(Recommended Reading: Daniel 9:1-19 and John 12:20-28)
Too much of the time our prayers tend to be all about me, myself & I. If we want to release our prayers with power, we need to ask for things keeping in mind that the end result should be that God can and will be glorified. We must learn to look at the needs we are to pray about through the eyes of God and not just for our own selfish needs.
“To pray effectively, we must want what God wants.” (A.W. Tozer)
In John 12:20-28 we read about how Jesus predicts his own death; and, in verses 27-28 (NIV) Jesus says: “’Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’” Jesus clearly only wanted what God wanted and prayed accordingly. [Emphasis mine]
I do love a prayer that was so fervently prayed by Daniel. He prayed for Jerusalem, confessing all of their wickedness – how they had turned away from God in disobedience. Daniel recognized that the curses and judgments they were experiencing were because of how they had turned their backs on God. In Daniel 9:17-19 (NIV) he says: “’Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For Your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your name.’” [All emphasis mine]
If we keep our minds on God and make Him the center of our requests, then our own self-centeredness should fade into the background. Answered prayers that are God-centered give us an opportunity for testimonies – powerful testimonies that could influence someone else that has a need for their faith to be built up or maybe even fully restored. That is because God, and God alone, answered those prayers.
Our testimonies can be so much more impactful if we can declare to others how we prayed to our heavenly Father about what our needs were, and how the answer came in a way we cannot explain. It was not because of anything we personally did – it was because it supernaturally happened as a result of our loving supernatural Father. We can then express our thankfulness to Him and not take any credit ourselves.
This week in one of my daily devotionals this was brought home by the author. He says: “Our prayers should be all about God and His purposes.” “Biblical prayers must eventually fall in line with the biblical agenda; displaying the glory of God. There is no better way to gain victory in crisis than to shift our focus from our purposes to God’s. Our prayers must move from ‘Lord, defend my cause’ to ‘Lord, defend Your cause.’ The cries for help that begin with our own desperation must end with a deep concern for the work of God and the reputation of His name. Our cause must give way to His. Our will must be shaped like His. Our ruins must be rebuilt for the glory of His name.” (Chris Tiegreen)
My prayer is that I always make my requests known to God, knowing as best as I can what His will is and with the end goal of Him being glorified.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30 NIV)
Written by Karran Martin – February 10, 2019/Updated August 8, 2020