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The highest form of prayer
- Jacob Ninan
A debate is going on about whether we should plead for something from God or command things to be done. But the more important issue is what our heart is praying for rather than the method we adopt. The 'prayer of our heart' indicates what our treasure is (Mt.6:21). When we take delight in the Lord, He promises to give us the desires of our heart (Ps.37:4). We do need to ask God for many things for our earthly life. God recognises that we need them (Mt.6:31,32). But what is uppermost in our innermost being? That will show how much we are actually in love with God.
When Jesus was here on earth, He had only one goal in life, looking at it in one way. That was to do the will of His Father (He.10:7). In fact He derived His fulfillment as a man in doing the Father's will (Jn.4:34). That was what gave Him maximum delight (Ps.40:8). In the biggest test of His life He demonstrated His conscious choice to do His Father's will rather than save Himself (Lk.22:42). When Jesus was contemplating the suffering and death that He would have to face soon, His high priority prayer was, "Father, glorify Your name" (Jn.12:27,28).
Aren't these the same things He emphasises in the prayer that He taught us? "Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt.6:9,10). He held up these values before our eyes, and then demonstrated them through His own life in the costliest possible way.
Perhaps we also say the same words at the time of prayer or though worship songs. But God is looking for true worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn.4:23). He wants to see if what we say with our lips is coming from our hearts, because if it is, it will also been seen in our deeds. That gets tested many times a day when we have to choose between our will and our glory and God's will and His glory. That is when we have actual opportunities to pray, "Hallowed be Your name. Your will be done."
The height of this prayer comes when our heart prays, "Father, Your will be done, and Your name be glorified at any cost to me." This is the prayer great men of God have prayed through the centuries, that has come from hearts that have recognised through experience that God's will is the best that can be done at all times and in all kinds of situations, and that God deserves all the glory at all times. This is the prayer we aim for and must hold on to, especially when we have talked like Peter (Mt.26:35), and then acted like him, and realise that again we have gone and done our will at the cost of God's will.
The will of God and the glory of God has to become integral with the beat of our hearts, and not relegated to special occasions such as getting married, finding a job, etc. Pray that God will help us to speak, behave and think in all situations according to God's ways so that those who observe us (including the angels and demons who watch us even where no man can) may give glory to God (Mt.5:16).