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A dear friend and former coworker passed away recently. He had one overriding prayer request, "Pray that God would be glorified in my life." His life bore shining testimony that God delights to answer such prayers. But praying for His glory will cost us. God can be glorified in us only as we are willing to dethrone self, which can be a painful process - and a lifelong one. Self doesn't surrender control easily - nor its love of worldly things.
Self is not pretty and its traits are many. It craves human praise, wants to be noticed and admired, is defensive when criticized, stands on its rights and takes offense when overlooked. It envies the success of others, is discouraged when its plans don't succeed. It covers up its faults and gives a better impression of itself than is strictly true. It gets irritable, impatient and angry and can lose its cool when under pressure. Even if we avoid outwardly committing the "big" sins, we can too easily and too often harbor thoughts of them in our hearts.
In contrast, a life that has surrendered control to God will not be concerned for self at all. It is willing to yield its rights, is OK when others get the credit and rejoices if they are honored. It receives criticism with a humble spirit, it grieves over sin, is quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness. It desires holiness more than happiness, has a thankful spirit, a deep hunger for God, and loves to pray and fellowship with the Father.
God wants all of us to manifest these Christlike attitudes. Indeed He is most glorified in us when His Son is most revealed in us. He is so committed to revealing His Son that He will allow us to go through hardships, afflictions, disappointments, humiliations and failures to break us and pry us loose from the things we hold onto that obscure His glory. The more we die to self though, the more the beauty of Jesus will be seen in us.
Imagine a beautiful painting that has been hidden away in an old basement for decades. It has gathered so much grime that the picture is totally hidden. When a master art restorer receives the painting he sets about carefully removing the grime. As he does this the image, once obscured, is gradually revealed. In like manner, God wills nothing less for us than the full restoration of the image of His Son in each of us.
What more can we pray than for God to be glorified in us? And why would we ask for anything less?
Global Prayer Coordinator