Take a read at the November issue of Prayer Corner as Kathy shares with us how we may understand God’s glory in our prayer life.
Matthew 6:9-10 This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Glory is often defined as fame or renown for a pinnacle of achievement. It is something desirable and evidence of high worth.
If one person has glory than another does not, or at least has less. If that is how we understand the word, then it would be incomplete at best and utterly erroneous at its worst. At least, one might say this definition is honest. We all want a degree of honor; to be known for our inherent value. But when the Bible says we are to give the glory to God, in part, it is suggesting we should give up any glory of our own, to point instead to God, casting our crowns at His feet, and declaring the dust that we are and the dust to which we will return. Satan operates within this limited and comparative definition of the word glory, to his downfall.
Glory as a ranking, is incomplete. Nor is it a thing we give away to our diminishment. Far from demarcating us one from another, it includes us as one, and elevates us together in one singular grand celebration!
Glory is like a fire, magnificent to behold, but even more bewildering to experience as an intense satisfaction and consummate joy, that is shared the closer you get to its center. Jesus defined glory in this way in John 17. This is the kind of glory Jesus brought to His father, and in so doing, drew glory to himself, and offered the same to us.
Read John 17, replacing Jesus’ use of the word “glory” or “glorify” with the words “joy, love and intense satisfaction” or “bring joy, love and intense satisfaction,” and see if you cannot erase the image of Jesus beaming with bliss and anticipation.
The experience of witnessing the glory of another, is most intense, for those who know and love that one the best. Imagine that you are in an Olympic stadium, part of the crowd, jumping and cheering for the winning athlete. If that person is a fellow Canadian, you have shared joy, but only as one Canadian stranger to another. If you are that athlete’s beloved sibling, and also fellow athlete in training, you have an intimate understanding of that one’s goals, investment, sacrifice, character and personhood, and your shared joy, is multiplied by that loving knowledge.
Jesus said He accomplished the task of making known, the Father, to us who have received it. And so now the bond of being known and knowing, of mutual loving affection, this joy in unity and celebration that He has with the Father, this “glory”, is ours as well.
John 17:22-23 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
And not only is this glory, this fire, ours by association, but it is meant to spread to others as well.
John 17:20-21 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
In this way, “joy”, “intense satisfaction in completion”, “love in unity”, “knowing and being known” are all concepts that sum in the word, “Glory”. Glory was never meant to be a thing to be hoarded but to be shared.
We say prayers giving glory to God, by saying to Him, I know you, and I want to know you more. I trust you even when I don’t understand what you are doing. I love you. I honor you. I want to be like you. You inspire me. Your truth and your example give me direction, wisdom, excitement, and hope for the future because it is a future with you.
John 17 says the glory of God is accomplished by our obedience. When we do what he says is right, it shows we agree with Him, trust Him and want to be like Him in not just how He acts but how He thinks. Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, and we flatter God when we are imitators of Him. The greatest compliment we could ever receive, is that we are a lot like our Father.
Revelation 7:12 Praise and glory, and wisdom and thanks, and honor and power, and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”