Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 15:8’

Each time before you intercede,

be quiet first and worship God in his glory.

Think of what he can do

And how he delights to hear the prayers

of his redeemed people.

Think of your place and privilege in Christ

and expect great things!

Andrew Murray

We can EXPECT great things?  That news gets my heart beating a little faster. How about you?

I also find Reverend Murray’s affirmations raising important questions–questions like:

How do I quiet myself?

My thoughts can jump from one thing to another until they’re on another continent from the subject of my prayer. What’s a scatterbrain like me to do?

I researched solutions for that problem a couple of years ago, and six suggestions became a blog post, “The Drift into Distractions.”

Since then I’ve encountered two more ways to still my mind:

1. One, shut the door.

Sounds a bit silly, I know. But that simple action can alter my mindset, reminding me that unimportant concerns and the ever-present to-do list can wait until later—outside the door.

2.  Two, breathe a breath prayer.

With a slow, deep inhale I might whisper, “My hope is in You, God.” On the exhale I can conclude with, “I am trusting you.”

A few repetitions help focus my mind on the Almighty One to whom I pray and the anticipation of serious, life-changing intercession.

How do I “worship God in his glory?”

First I need to understand that God’s glory includes all his splendorous attributes: his creativity and power, goodness and mercy, wisdom and love and more.   Taking a moment to remember who my God is, prepares my heart to pray with confidence.

One such prayer might be:

O Lord, the magnificence of your Personhood renders me speechless with wonder. You are all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful.

You perfectly attend to the immense totality of your creation, and with compassionate love you care for your children.

“Your splendor is above the earth and heavens” (Psalm 148:13b)!

Why is it beneficial to think about what God can do?

Reviewing God’s miracles and wonderful works of the past is like a warm-up before working out. It prepares our faith muscles to pray with conviction and endurance.

Does God really delight to hear our prayers?

Oh, yes!

“The Lord…delights in the prayers of his people” (Proverbs 15:8b NLT). Can’t get much clearer than that.

Why should I consider “my place and privilege in Christ” before praying?

First, I am in Christ because I accepted his offer to pay for all my wrong thoughts, attitudes and actions—a supreme, sacrificial payment he made on the cross. God the Father made that exchange possible so I might have the gift of eternal life with him in heaven.

Second, Jesus’ painful sacrifice also provided a place and privilege in God’s family, with access to his presence anytime, anywhere. (Ephesians 3:12).

Prayer is a precious privilege; I’d be foolish to ignore it.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Thank you, Lord Jesus my Advocate. Because of you I can approach our Father, the King of the universe, and receive his mercy and grace to help in my time of need and that of others.

I praise you for all your scripture promises assuring us that high expectations in you are not misplaced.

Help me to wait in patient confidence upon you, the only One who can accomplish great things—even above our expectations.  

 (Hebrews 4:16; I John 5:14-15; Ephesians 3:20)

(Art & photo credits: http://www.rawpixel.com; http://www.pxhere.com; http://www.heartlight.org; http://www.scripture-images.com; http://www.dailyverses.net.)

What helps you expect great things as you pray?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Her name is Elena (EL-e-na) Grace, born February 28, 2013.  As you can see, she sports a fuzzy round head and pudgy cheeks.  What you can’t see are her feet–long and slender like her father’s.

Now two months old, she studies her surroundings and tracks right and left the toys we jiggle for her. Elena already likes books, too. Wide, blue eyes take in as much as possible before the page turns. As her grandmother, I’m delighted to play and read, just to see her reactions.

Elena’s father, our son, is an artist. A number of his paintings hang in their home. Hold Elena in front of one and she scrutinizes it carefully.

“Wow!” her eyes seem to say. “Have you ever seen such creativity? Such interesting spatial composition? What intriguing juxtaposition!  Such beauty.” (Yes, I’m sure these would be her comments if Elena could talk. Grandmothers know these things.)

Early in April she began to smile. Each time her little face lit up, my spirit lifted.
And then came the first “coo,” followed by many more. No doubt Elena thinks she’s joining in the conversation. We listen closely to catch every “word.”

Is this how it is for our Heavenly Father?

I wonder…

Does his heart fill with delight when we revel in His creation, as Elena delights in her daddy’s paintings? Does he experience joy when we take pleasure in his blessings, much as we take pleasure in Elena’s smiles? Surely so.

Psalm 69 gives us a hint: “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord” (Psalm 69:30-31a). One of God’s names is Creator. He is also God of grace. What a privilege–to make the King of the universe smile, simply by expressing praise and thanksgiving for what he has made, and what he has done.

I wonder…

Does he listen closely to every word (as we listen for Elena’s coos)–even to our thoughts that defy words?

Oh, yes.

“He delights in genuine prayers” (Proverbs 15:8b, MSG).

“If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans” (Romans 8:26, MSG).

God listens and responds, even to inarticulate prayers.

Why? His love for us is wide and long and high and deep (Ephesians 3:18), in spite of our shortcomings and disobedience. Incredible, isn’t it?

Thank you, Father, for your loving kindness, your forgiveness and empowering presence. Thank you for treasuring us even more than we treasure our families. And thank you for little Elena, who brings new attention to familiar old truths.

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