Friday, November 10, 2006

Prayer and the Glory of God

There are numerous anecdotes of Christians who believe that God has supernaturally prompted them to pray for a certain individual or circumstance. Often happening in the middle of the night, there are accounts of those who somehow knew they needed to be in prayer. They often find out, some time later, that the person or situation prayed for was truly in desperate need of prayer at that time.

Perhaps many of these accounts can be dismissed as wishful thinking or deriving from a faulty memory (i.e. hearing about the need and later praying for that need while reversing the order of events in one's memory). Yet, so many of these accounts withstand such scrutiny, truly demonstrating that the need for prayer was brought to mind in a moment of someone else's real need.

Such accounts raise an important question. Why would God prompt a person to pray for someone else when He is already well aware of the need and is infinitely able and willing to carry the resolution of the need? Some passages from Scripture can help us to arrive at an answer. We know that God has created all things (Genesis 1:1) and knows the beginning of time to its end (Isaiah 46:10). Therefore, even when we are informed of the needs of prayer of others and ourselves in a "normal" manner, we know that God already knew these present needs from the beginning of time.

With all of this in mind, what motivates God to prompt us in prayer to Him? I think that the Bible provides the answer in 1 Corinthians 10:31. In that verse, the apostle Paul wrote: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." God desires to be glorified. This should not be thought of in terms of God being an ego-maniac. In human terms, any glorious thing we do is, by its very nature, incomplete or tainted with sinful and questionable motives. When we see a fellow human with an overgrown ego, others often see this for what it is, namely, an out-of-place and wrongly inflated view of the self.

With God, His glory is supreme. Nothing is better or more excellent. Due to His very nature, God's glory is not defective, incomplete or in need of development. Logically, God must promote His own glory above all other things. Nothing better than this exists. It never has and never will. For God to neglect His own glory as some supposed demonstration of humility would place Him in the position of neglecting the best and most perfect for something inferior.

So, if you know of a person who has been awakened in the middle of the night to pray for someone or for a special need,(or have experienced this yourself), know that God loves us enough to allow us to share in the resolution of these things in prayer. He longs to show us His Supreme Glory in action.

"May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works" (Psalm 104:31 NIV)


Brady said...

Jan van Eyck - Ghent Altarpiece

(one of my favorites!)

From what I have skimmed through, I have enjoyed the posts so far. I too am also interested in prayer, so to see someone write about it consistently is very cool.

I hope that you keep it up, and consider me a new reader.

Brady Lee

p.s. if you are interested, I do have a few Christian based musings, for one see this:

(I do not mean to needlessly promote my ego, just wanted to let you know that I am not all football and movies!)

Walter Hampel said...


Thanks for the encouraging comment and being a new reader. I've run across the van Eyck Altarpiece a few time over the years and thought it was a great medieval artistic rendering of Revelation 7:9-17. I'm also familiar with Jan van Eyck as there is another of his works at the Detroit Institute of Arts (Saint Jerome in his study).

I am interested at getting a look at your blog later today (Unfortunately, it will have to be later today as I'm actually running a little late for work right now).

Thanks again!!!!

Walt Hampel