Prayer serves a dual purpose; it glorifies God and brings blessing to others
Published 8:49 am Tuesday, March 16, 2021
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I enjoy taking my friends out for a nice meal on their birthdays. They accept my gift but are offended when I pray for God to bless our meal together and to bless the friendship we have. A couple of my friends asked me to change the ending of my prayer, in Jesus’ Name, and say, “In the names of the gods.” I am not willing to do this, am I wrong? — M.P.
Dear M.P.: Prayer serves a dual purpose; it glorifies God and brings blessing to others. It is also a testimony to our faith, but uniting in prayer to the gods of this world will avail nothing. A clear demonstration of this is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. But Elijah used the opportunity to proclaim the power of prayer in the Name of the Lord God.
Jesus exemplified prayer and lifted His eyes to Heaven and prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (John 17:1). Throughout this magnificent prayer, the glory of God the Father and God the Son is exalted. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5). We cannot pray sincerely if our aim is not to bring glory to Him.
God has given Jesus authority over all flesh, to give eternal life, “that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). These verses alone demonstrate the Source of powerful prayer and God’s everlasting authority over all people, though many reject it. But nothing brings pleasure to God more than when He hears His people pray for others — in His Name.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)