19 May 2010

Praying for God's Glory

Technology is an amazing thing, isn't it?  For example, I can listen to sermons from any number of churches and countries all from the comfort of my kitchen or living room or really anywhere thanks to the iPod and podcasts.

Since moving to Russia I've listened to sermon podcasts more and more.  Not being able to understand the sermons at church for almost 2 years really drove me to seek for teaching in other ways.  Often during lunch Isaiah and I will listen to a sermon together.  In fact suhmun recently entered Isaiah's vocabulary.

We were listening to a sermon of John Piper's recently that was reposted on iTunes from the end of 2008 entitled, Put in the Fire for the Sake of Prayer.  We haven't finished it yet, but already I am challenged about my prayer life.

Piper expounds passages from the gospel of John in which the apostle writes about prayer and Jesus' teaching on prayer.  The challenge?  Whatever you pray, pray for the purpose of the glory of God.

Well, duh, you might say.  But really, do we do this?  Piper was talking specifically about what we ask of God and said (rough quote), You can pray for a parking space, that's fine, but is your goal for the glory of God?  Hmmm.....I must confess that while I do believe that my life's goal is for the glory of God, and I try to live that way day by day, I don't think that I've thought about the requests that I make in prayer as specifically for the glory of God.

My most current personal requests have been about Nadia's birth.  For example, Lord, please keep Nadia in the womb until it's such and such a time.  But I think that my request, if I am honest, is motivated by fear and not for the glory of God.
I fear that...
she will be born too early
she will have physical difficulties from prematurity
I will have to have an emergency c-section again and not get to see her right away
her suck won't be developed and she won't nurse well
and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes I find it easier to pray for the glory of God when praying for other people, I think.  But now I want to pray more biblically for myself.  I don't know exactly what this will sound like right now.  Going back to the example of Nadia's birth, I don't think it is sinful to pray for her to be born later rather than earlier, but how do I envelop that desire in the foundation of God's glory?  Just by saying, Please bring glory to yourself through Nadia's birth, Lord; and here are my thoughts and desires on the matter...?

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

For His Glory said...

We talked about this very issue in a women's Bible study at our church. A friend of mine said that when we pray for grandma's hip to heal, shouldn't we be praying for something deeper? Like, shouldn't we pray that grandma learns to trust God through her ordeal, or that she would be a witness for Him through her pain? I totally agree that we should be praying for God glory and not let our prayers be driven by our desires.

Gotta love John Piper!

Thanks for sharing.