“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3
I knew my friend was headed for a rough week at work. Her manager would be off on vacation, the company had faced numerous changes in recent months, and the stress level surely must have been at an all-time high as endless challenges seemed to arise. When I crossed paths with her just before her challenging week would begin, I asked her how I might pray for her. Oftentimes I just pray as the Spirit of God leads me, but this time I felt compelled to ask. Her answer was swift and emphatic.
“Just pray that I would continue to follow God while I’m going crazy,” she implored.
Wow. What a beautiful, powerful prayer.
I was immediately reminded of a pastor the previous night who had preached that when we face trials, instead of praying to God to give us relief, we should ask Him to help us bring glory to His name. Most assuredly there’s nothing wrong with praying for help and relief, but do you hear the message in my friend’s request, and in the pastor’s preaching?
Christ’s followers are called to die to self, to deny self, to lay self aside, and to in Christ’s strength follow Him. To exalt God. To love and revere God. To honor Him. To magnify Him. To lift His name on high. To glorify Him. To bring Him praise. To worship Him. To stand in awe of Him. To bow down humbly before Him in adoration.
What my friend wanted, and what the pastor preached, bears the message that our heart’s desire above all else should not be about self but about the Lord Jesus Christ, that we would as my friend shared strive no matter life’s challenges to press on in following the Lord, to walk in His ways, to live by His Word, to bring Him joy and pleasure, to please and revere Him, to fear and be enthralled by Him, to be devoted to Him and to living for Him as our highest priority.
What a beautiful, powerful prayer, yes. With a message I pray we all hear.