If left to ourselves, our most common motivations are selfish. We generally want what we want for us.
Only Christ’s redemption changes our passions. But even as His followers, we can slip into self-centered desires.
We find ourselves on the best ground when we are lifted higher … when God purifies our motives to the point that we are not living for our interests but for His … when our praying is in sync with His heart.
When the nation of Israel was under siege by her enemies, the psalmist pled with God to intervene, but notice why he asked for God’s help and deliverance:
Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” (Psalm 79:8-10 nasb).
You will find this theme running through all the prayers of the Bible. It seems to be uniquely important to God and to those nearest Him.
God Is Worthy of His Reputation
One of our oldest evangelical confessions says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” They got it right because they learned this from biblical saints.
God deserves to be well thought of, and the psalmist knew this. So even when he prayed for God’s intervention, he asked it “for the glory of Your name,” so that the unbelieving nations would not mock God and think He doesn’t care for His own.
Evaluate your requests before God, not in a silly, “I hope I don’t get this wrong” way, but with an authentic desire to move to greater effectiveness in intercession.
Sieve your prayers through the grid of God’s Name. You will find that you are never on better praying ground than when your motivation is simply and purely for God’s glory.