Soli Deo Gloria
Often our prayers sound like shopping lists. Some people’s prayers sound different, but if yours sound like mine, it’s mostly a list of things I’m asking for: Please keep that or this one safe, please sort out this problem, heal him or her, and so we keep on asking God for one intervention after the other. A shopping list.
But prayer is so much more than the quick prayer I shoot off with all my requirements for every moment of the day as if I’m waiting at the Drive Thru intercom. Prayer is a conversation that takes place within a relationship. A conversation not centring on me and my needs. To move away from the centre of prayer, I have to glorify God and thank Him for all that He gives me.
Paul prayed this for the people of Colossae, and also for you and me: 12 It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
Let’s be clear: If not for God and his Spirit, we would all have been lost. Lost and certainly on our way to eternal fire. However, because God first reached out to us through Jesus who had died in our place, we have a chance. If not for this, we wouldn’t have made it.
We should never stop glorifying God for this. We must tell Him over and over every day. He deserves all the glory in the world. Everything you achieve, you do because God is standing right behind you. Then you cannot just take what you want. Yes, you may have trained very hard and put in loads of time. Well done, but even that glory goes to God, because without Him we would’ve been like a balloon without air.
The more we glorify God, the more we realise how much He has done for us, the more we move away from being at the centre of our prayers, and the more God comes into his rightful place.
But even here I fall short. I do not always have enough of the right words to glorify and honour God. Then I turn to the Psalms to glorify God properly in the words of the poets. Just look at Psalm 27; I have read this just before I started writing this piece. When I read this Psalm out loud, God’s Name is glorified, because
- He is almighty and helps us in crisis times;
- He is a God that cares for us and saves us from trouble;
- God never abandons us;
- He watches over us and protects us against attacks by evil ones;
- He defends us against people with bad intentions; and
- Why should I be afraid of an army coming against me when God defends me?
A friend of mine had a cycling accident and ended up in intensive care. He was not doing well. I didn’t even know if he was conscious or not, but took the liberty of sending the three verses of Psalm 27 to him, because I knew God was also protecting him as he lay there linked up to all those machines. I believed that God would care for him.
I knew that he would be different when he woke up having read those verses, because I was different. I was calmer, because an almighty God was looking after me and after him. And again I realised that I couldn’t take any of the credit. It is God, only God, who helps, saves, watches over, protects, defends…
Soli Deo Gloria. To God all glory.
What are you grateful for?
Where does it all come from?
Do you glorify God enough for all of it?
Our Father, your Son did all that was necessary so that we could be saved from sin and so that we can live the way You want us to! You stand by us through it all through your Holy Spirit. We are never alone. All glory to You. Amen.