Surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. Psalm 54:4
Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Jude 24–25
A recent text message I received was a call to prayer in behalf of a close friend who had suffered a stroke and was facing emergency surgery. I am always happy to be asked to pray for people, and did immediately pray for this friend of a friend. Since that time the medical advances have been accompanied by set-backs and further challenges. It’s been several days of answered prayers and need for more.
Whenever I pray in such situations I do so hoping for God’s glory through the process, as well as for God’s favor in granting my request. I am perhaps a bit hyper-concerned about God’s glory and credit in situations such as this. I deeply desire that God is acknowledged when we pray; that our prayers are not just good thoughts we’re sending in someone’s direction.
This false idea is all to prevalent today. Too many people “pray” to some un-named, vague higher power, and never recognize that our prayers actually reach the heart of the God of the universe. Too many mouth good thoughts, and send good vibes to people in distress, because they don’t realize that God not only deserves the glory, but that he actually is involved in the affairs of man.
We do not pray in order to inform God of things he already knows, but to open ourselves to a greater awareness of God’s work in our lives. When we pray we seek God’s glory as well as his answers. We acknowledge that God has power to answer our prayers. We also seek to find our place in his good and gracious will. When we see his answers we properly praise God, and thank him for answering our prayers. We seek to bring him glory.
The glory of God is also great motivation for evangelism. As a young missionary recently put it to me, “Jesus isn’t receiving the glory he deserves” in those places where the Christian faith is not established. If anyone deserves glory it’s Jesus Christ. And were his name is not known, or where he is not given honor and glory, there is a void that truly needs to be filled. Where the void of praise and glory to God exists, we are the poorer for it.
Then come Jude’s words. Not only glory, but majesty, power, and authority! That honor and acknowledgement is to come as we experience his grace and answers, and was before time began is now, and will be through all eternity. Jesus has been and will be glorified. Every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Some will do so out of duress, others in delightful joy.
Let’s start now – when we see our prayers answered, and even as we call upon him in our times of distress. He alone deserves all glory and honor.