Through a different kind of prayer

I can say it easier than see it so when I see it I can really say it – trusting in God means I cast my cares on Him through prayer – all for His glory.

Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed to God and cried out to him for help. – 2 Chronicles 32:20 GNT

I am learning that it is all about God receiving all the glory – I am not praying to use God to secure my happiness.

Jesus prayed such a prayer in John 17. If there is a Great Commission and a Great Commandment, this would be the Great Prayer.

“John Knox, on his death-bed in 1572, asked his wife to read to him John 17, ‘where’, he said, ‘I cast my first anchor.’” – Bruce

When I hear someone in prayer, lost in their expressions, there is something holy and awesome about it. Jesus starts off in such a manner and He prays regarding Himself.

“There is no voice which has ever been heard, either in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime, than the prayer offered up by the Son to God Himself.” – Melanchthon, cited in Boice

I think genuine prayer reveals a person’s innermost being – here Jesus touches glory, glorify, sent, believe, world, and love. He directs His prayer repeatedly to God the Father.

Yet there is something different in this prayer; Jesus did not pray just as He told His disciples to pray. “The request of our Lord thus given in John’s seventeenth chapter is clearly no prayer of an inferior to a superior: constantly there is seen in it the co-equality of the Speaker with The Father. The Two have but one mind… Where the Son speaks He is not seeking to bend The Father to Him: rather is He voicing the purpose of the Godhead.” – Trench

How often do I bow my head and close my eyes in prayer. Jesus lifts up His eyes.

“In the sacred record, however, much more space is taken up by our Lord’s intercessions as he nears the end of his labors. After the closing supper, his public preaching work being ended, and nothing remaining to be done but to die, he gave himself wholly unto prayer. He was not again to instruct the multitude, nor to heal the sick, and in the interval which remained, before he should lay down his life, he girded himself for special intercession. He poured out his soul in life before he poured it out unto death.” – Spurgeon

The words lifted up His eyes to heaven also indicate that Jesus looked up in a hopeful sense and was not gloomy or downcast in this prayer. This is actually a prayer of faith and confidence, even victory – all the while acknowledging the reality of the conflict. “We so often understand this prayer as though it were rather gloomy. It is not. It is uttered by One who has just affirmed that He has overcome the world (John 16:33), and it starts from this conviction.” – Morris

When Jesus prayed looking up, His prayer was not about His needs but rather His desire to fulfill the will of God no matter what the cost.

It was a prayer rich in relationship – with a deep sense of familial. As much as He wanted to glorify God, He wanted God to glorify Him too.

This prayer was wonderfully answered. “Yes, the Father glorified his Son, even when it pleased him to bruise him and to put him to grief. With one hand he smote, and with the other hand he glorified. There was a power to crush, but there was also a power to sustain working at the self-same time. The Father glorified his Son.” – Spurgeon

How different are most of my prayers. “In one form or another we are constantly asking the Father to glorify us. Glorify me, O Father, we cry, by giving me the largest congregation in the town; by commencing a great revival in my mission, by increasing my spiritual power, so that I shall be greatly sought after. Of course, we do not state our reason quite so concisely; but this is really what we mean. And then we wonder why the answer tarries.” – Meyer

Years ago when Mr. Moody was young in Christian work, he visited a town in Illinois. A judge in the town was an infidel. This judge’s wife besought Mr. Moody to call upon her husband, but Mr. Moody replied: “I cannot talk with your husband. I am only an uneducated young Christian, and your husband is a book infidel.”

But the wife would not take no for an answer, so Mr. Moody made the call. The clerks in the outer office tittered as the young salesman from Chicago went in to talk with the scholarly judge. The conversation was short. Mr. Moody said: “Judge, I can’t talk with you. You are a book infidel, and I have no learning, but I simply want to say if you are ever converted, I want you to let me know.”

The judge replied: “Yes, young man, if I am ever converted I will let you know. Yes, I will let you know.”

The conversation ended. The clerks tittered still louder when the zealous young Christian left the office, but the judge was converted within a year. Mr. Moody visiting the town again asked the judge to explain how it came about. The judge said: “One night, when my wife was at prayer meeting, I began to grow very uneasy and miserable. I did not know what was the matter with me, but finally retired before my wife came home. I could not sleep all that night. I got up early, told my wife that I would eat no breakfast, and went down to the office. I told the clerks they could take a holiday, and shut myself up in the inner office. I kept growing more and more miserable, and finally I got down and asked God to forgive my sins, but I would not say ‘for Jesus’ sake,’ for I was a Unitarian and I did not believe in the atonement. I kept praying ’God forgive my sins’; but no answer came. At last in desperation I cried, ‘O God, for Christ’s sake forgive my sins,’ and found peace at once.”

The judge had no access to God until he came in the name of Christ, but when he thus came, he was heard and answered at once. – R.A. Torrey

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