Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hiding In Thee"1 (Lyrics)
Perhaps you, like me, wonder at times how to manage those lengthy prayer request lists which come along. There are so many needs — for friends, family, leaders, nations. Some lists come as emails or letters from various organizations. It can feel overwhelming.
One morning, I simply uttered, "Dear God, where do I begin?" An unexpected idea entered my mind: "Start by praying for God." Of course! Pray for God! Jesus taught exactly that:
Matthew 6:9-10a – Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. (NLT)
There it is: the Lord's Prayer opens by praying for God. But why should God need our prayers for Him? He is God, after all, firmly established in the heavenly realms — His holy name, His kingdom plan, and His divine will. Why not skip past all that and get on with our list?
Through mulling over that question, I've made some surprising discoveries which I'm eager to share. I started with Jesus' lesson on prayer.
For His visual aid, Jesus had used some nearby religious authorities who were praying to be seen by others. They were not praying for God at all, but were seeking to exalt their own name. Through their habits, they had defiled God's name, degrading it into an image of themselves: unmerciful, distant, and unholy. In their religious zeal, they not only defamed God's reputation, but they also resisted His kingdom and His will. They blocked people from discovering God's merciful love through Christ.
Centuries earlier, God had expressed this same concern through his prophets:
Ezekiel 36:21 – I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. (NIV)
Indisputably, that's God's concern today. His name has been diminished throughout western civilization, in all our institutions, including our churches and among ourselves. The various troubles that we experience as a result provide an effective incentive to pray for God — that His name, kingdom, and will may shine into the darkness of sin and evil.
Really, when we pray for God, we are praying for His treasured love: humanity.
When we pray for God, we are also praying for ourselves, because we personally play a role. For example, through trusting Him for our daily bread, His forgiveness, and His protection from evil powers, we portray a trustworthy God Who remains true to His name.
Praying for God is actually an act of repentance: we are surrendering our own will and turning to Him. We are humbly trusting Him to be truly God — for ourselves and our broken world.
Finally, we're eager to pray first for our Lord because He truly is our first love. His love is the flame that sparks all our prayers. That's what we want for ourselves, others, and our world — all for His glorious name.
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, may the beauty of Your holy name endure and shine abroad, that people on earth everywhere may be blessed through You and call You blessed. Amen.
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Thank you so much Diane. VERY thoughtful!!
Thanks, Diane. This is really a thought-provoking message and well written.
Thanks for the reminder to put “first things first” Blessings from,
Wonderful and meaningful devotional today, Diane!! Thank you!!
God’s best to you!!
Thank you, Diane, for sharing this unique and thoughtful devotional with us. To God be the glory! Blessings.
Thanks, Diane, for another of your excellent writings. Your closing prayer is very positive advice to follow. Blessings.
Well, Diane, you did it again! God speaks to us and it is always fresh and relevant! Thank you for keeping close to Him, for in it we are also blessed! Well done!
Wow… I have never thought of it like that before! what an eye opener! Thank you for sharing.
God bless you!
These are certainly thoughts that I want to share with others.
Thank you so very much.
Diane, such a good devotional, pray for God. I never thought of it that way, but I always felt that our prayers should start with the Lord’s prayer, praising Him, and giving thanks before asking for help. Thank you for explaining it in this way, a great way to start the day. Blessings.
You took the words right out of my mouth insofar as being overcome by the numbers of people who needs prayers. AND, then you have the perfect answer.
Thank you, Diane, for a powerful, empowering word of instruction this morning. It was a message I needed to hear and a blessing to me, I pray hallowed be his name may his kingdom come, and his will be done. God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are so good!
Blessings to you Diane as you are led by the Spirit in your writings.
Thank you, Diane, for writing this outstanding devotional. You have changed and enhanced my prayer life. I will pray for God first going forward, instead of to Him.
This has to be one of the best devotional’s I have ever read. I will share it with our Ladies Group at church.
God Bless you and keep you, Diane.
Good morning, Diane,
A great reminder of the importance of the Lord’s Prayer in our lives. I think sometimes I repeat it without fully taking in what the words mean. It helps to quiet my inner turmoil and doesn’t get the reverence it should. I read a small book that went into detail about each part of the prayer and the importance and understanding. Thanks for the helping me to be more present in my prayers. Blessings.
Thanks for giving so much food for thought and consolation.
I see some of your points, but your expansion is not my cup of tea! It is not the job of society to lift up the name of God. God didn’t ask secular society to lift up his name, did he?
Thank you for a very good devotional, with a different twist on praying. I almost deleted this without reading it, so glad I didn’t. It does seem like millions have forgotten we have a Heavenly Father who loves us now and forever, if we would only let him.
When are those who are still asleep going to realize what is there for us, we just need to grasp it. Blessings to you and yours.