I am up to Lesson 20 in With Christ in the School of Prayer. Today’s lesson was challenging as I was reminded that the chief end of prayer is the glory of God. Dr. Murray writes:
“That the Father may be glorified in the Son. It is to this end that Jesus on His throne in glory will do all we ask in His Name. Every answer to prayer He gives will have this as its object: when there is no prospect of this object being obtained, He will not answer.”
Dr. Murray explains how the entire life of Jesus was about giving glory to the Father. Now that Jesus is in Heaven, he still glorifies the Father. When we pray in Jesus Name, the Father’s glory must be our chief objective in prayer, too. All too often, self-interest and self-will are our true motivations in prayer. As Dr. Murray says, “If we cannot see that this is the case, have we not to acknowledge that the distinct, conscious longing for the glory of the Father is not what animates our prayers? And yet it must be so.”
“What a humbling thought that so often there is earnest prayer for a child or a friend, for a work or a circle, in which the thought of our joy or pleasure was far stronger than any yearning for God’s glory. No wonder there are so many unanswered prayers: here we have the secret. God would not be glorified when that glory was not our object. He that would pray the prayer of faith, will have to give himself to live literally so that the Father in all things may be glorified in him……The surrender to God to seek His glory, and the expectation that He will show His glory in hearing us, are one at root: He that seeks God’s glory will see it in the answer to his prayer, and he alone.”
“And how, we ask again, shall we attain it? Let us begin with confession. How little has the glory of God been an all-absorbing passion; how little our lives and our prayers have been full of it. How little we have lived in the likeness of the Son, and in sympathy with Him – for God and His glory alone. Let us take time, until the Holy Spirit discover it to us, and we see how wanting we have been in this. True knowledge and confession of sin are the sure path to deliverance.”
As we pray for missions, for our churches, for personal needs, for healing, for the salvation of the lost, let us not only pray that God’s Kingdom will come and His will be done, but let us pray that in our lives, in answered prayer, He will be glorified. The Week of Prayer for International Missions is a clarion call to pray for God to be made known and glorified in all the earth. May we be the expression of “His Heart, His Hands, His Voice” to a lost world.
You can read With Christ in the School of Prayer online at: http://www.jesus.org.uk/vault/library/murray_with_christ_in_the_school_of_prayer.pdf