Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Prayer and Praising

In order to continue to let you in on my personal, spiritual growth, I'm making yet another post.
The past few months have been interesting in my relationship with Christ - times of dryness and laziness and fighting and struggling. Yet, the Lord continues to be faithful. I can be completely confident that "he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion" (Phil. 1:6).

This morning was a pretty usual morning. I entered my prayer time realizing my sin and how I needed God to help me. I sought forgiveness first and then went on. You know how it is sometimes. You just start praying - saying words but you don't really know what you're saying because you're mind isn't behind it. Thankfully, by God's grace, I caught myself and re-focused. In the course of my prayers (I can say this now) the Lord gave me a phrase to begin every request. The phrase was "Praise Your Name in...." It's interesting how that phrase totally oriented my attention on the right things. At that moment, I began to see my prayer life not as just a list of things to pray for - as so many people view prayer to be. Instead, when I prayed that phrase, I was helped to realize that I'm praying for God's glory to be known by all in all circumstances of life. I was praying for Him to be exalted in all my prayer requests. Through this phrase, my prayers took a turn for the better. I went from having my mind disengaged to realizing the utter importance and vital nature of my prayers at that time. I went from viewing prayers as something that focuses around me and others to something that focuses on the beauty and majesty of the great God that I get to serve. I went from being lethargic in my prayers to being enthusiastic. And, all this happened because God reminded me that I must be praying for His glory to be known by all in all things.

In reality, isn't that just how we're commanded to pray (not that we are required to say the phrase "praise your name in...', but that we must be seeking His glory first)? When we read in Scripture that we are to pray in Jesus' name, doesn't that actually mean that we are to pray in the power and for the glory of Jesus? Yes, it does.

So, I encourage all of you with my personal experience today - move forward in your prayer life. If you're struggling, fighting or lazy in your relationship with Christ, pray! Pray that God would be praised in and through your life. Pray that He would help you to see that His glory is the ultimate aim of life. And know that even in your prayers He wants to fill you with His fullness as you delight in all that He is and all that He promises to do!

Praise His Name!

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