Read His Words Before Ours!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.
I still remember the sound of my mother’s strong voice carrying each note of this ancient doxology and the way everyone stood in solemnity as the final strains from the organ hung in the air on Sundays.
“World without end…Amen, Amen.” (want to listen to the song in my head?! Here’s a link!)
The doxology itself is a plea to the Lord, beseeching Him to act for the sake of His Name. It’s an insistence on being heard regarding the aforementioned petitions based on His character.
King Hezekiah, of the Old Testament, knew how to apply this better than anyone. When he found an entire army of blood-thirsty Assyrians headed straight for his small, ill-equipped nation, he could have tried to find a way out in his own power…but his response was neither to flee nor ask a neighboring nation for aid. Instead, he stood boldly before the God of the Universe, and pleaded with the Sovereign to save them because of His power, dominion, and authority over all. (2 Kings 19:14-19)
Job’s prayer was equally as bold:
I would lay my case before Him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what He would answer me
and understand what He would say to me.
Would He contend (or fight) against me in the greatness of His power?
No; He would pay attention to me.
There (at His throne) an upright man could argue with Him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my Judge. (Job 23:4-7)
Job wasn’t saying he would come against God with literal negative “arguments”, rather, like King Hezekiah, that he would lay before the Almighty his brokenness, his wounds, his petitions, and he would be confident that because of God’s character, Job would be heard and welcomed into God’s presence.
Neither man’s confidence was hinged on their own power.
Neither man’s confidence was even dependent on God delivering them,
but instead on the fact that they knew their God would listen to them.
They knew they would be heard because, while the Kingdom is His, the power is His, and the glory is His, their personal experience told them that His heart is love.
That His Abba heart was theirs.
Because God is the Father who loves, and who knows how to give good gifts.
Because He holds all power and authority.
Because all glory belongs to Him.
And knowing He hears and listens to us, is enough for us, too.
We don’t have to know He will answer like we want Him to.
We don’t need to have all the answers of how prayer works.
We simply need to know that the God of Love who holds all power, not only hears us, but listens to us, and invites us to call Him ‘Daddy’.
It’s His eternal, un-ending love that gives us the safety and confidence to lay our needs before Him, knowing He is good.
It’s the doxology at the end of our prayers that reminds us of both His character, and the absolutely certain hope we hold fast to: a coming world that will never end.
It’s what allows us to echo all the saints before us by adding our hearty “Amen.”
“So Be It” is the literal meaning of the word Amen, but it’s so much more than those three little words.
It’s not a magical end mark to our prayers which guarantees a response in our favor.
It doesn’t bind God to do our bidding.
It’s our whole heart, whole mind, whole soul nodding in a somehow both solemn, yet enthusiastic YES, Abba.
Your will be done, Abba.
We are Yours, Abba.
And You are ours.
May Your will be done…so be it.
May Your kingdom come in us and through us…so be it.
Fulfill our needs for today, physical and spiritual, as You see fit….so be it.
Forgive us, and teach us to forgive….so be it.
Sanctify us, teach us to flee sin and become like You….so be it.
Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever….So. Be. It.
As I was considering all of these aspects, the image of my own children asking for something came to mind. When they beg and beg and insist and insist and whine and whine…. (I know you mamas know exactly what I mean!), I’m pressed to my limits of “good and generous”. Rather, it’s more the “annoyed and exasperated” that comes out. But, when my kids ask for something genuinely, with full confidence that if I say yes, it’s good, and if I say no, it’s still good; that is gold!!
One of my daughters absolutely loves to write me notes. She would rather handwrite her communication than verbalize it every time. Recently, her note read, “Could we get ice cream tonight? I would please you to say yes, but if you don’t, it’s okay because you give me so many good gifts. But I would really like ice cream.”
That’s the heart behind doxologies!
You, Oh God, are good and no matter what, that will not change, but based on your goodness and what I know of your character, I know you listen to me because I know our relationship matters to You; and that is enough. I choose to trust You with the rest!
“So Be It”, Lord, because You are good.
Here is my whole heart, whole mind, whole soul nodding in agreement with You, Amen.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!