Friday, April 10, 2015

Teach us to pray, part 45: Thine is the glory

"Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 'Give us this day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [ For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.' ] (Matthew 6:9-13 NASB

Just before I hit the "publish" button yesterday, I realized that what I had written was not at all what I had intended to write. Today, I'll try to correct that.

The final phrase found in the Model Prayer of Jesus (Matthew 6) says, "For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever." The word translated as "glory" is doxa
and indicates "the kingly majesty which belongs to God as supreme ruler". Doxa is sometimes used to indicate His Shekinah glory.

When I pray, asking for provision, forgiveness, and deliverance, I am to pray with the understanding that God does not answer my prayers with the objective of demonstrating what a fine believer I am. He answers my prayers in ways that conform to Who He is, in ways that demonstrate His attributes, and ways that reveal His glory to me and to those around me. The answers to my prayers are designed to reveal the truth that God is the supreme ruler of everything and all majesty belongs to Him. If I pay close attention to the way that God answers my prayers, I will find His majesty, His glory clearly revealed. 

What I'm about to write is astounding, even to me. When I pray in ways that are consistent with the will of God, for things that God longs to do, His response to my prayers can bring me a bit closer to His Shekinah glory. 

Selah. Pause and consider.

That breathtaking eminence is reason enough to pray with an humble, seeking heart. As I pray, I am praying for (or because) all power and all glory belong to God. He is able to respond to my needs, my prayers because He has all the power needed and because of His great majesty.  

It is almost too much to grasp that my prayers can help to reveal the glory of God to a lost and dying world, but it's true. There is a caveat, of course. When I pray "amiss" for selfish things that glorify only myself, it does not reveal the glory of God. When I am willing to pray for God's will in my life, however, He can be glorified in ways that make His goodness evident for all those around us to see.

Imagine for a moment all the ways God might move if you and I were intentional about asking for things that would glorify Him, instead of glorifying ourselves and those we love. What a beautiful outpouring of His power and glory we would see! As we approach our Lord in prayer today, let's pray for our needs to be met in ways that glorify our Father in Heaven, that all the world can see how good and kind He is to sinners such as you and me.