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The Scriptorium

The Point of Prayer

Prayer spreads the glory of God. Luke 18.35-43

Luke 18 (6)

Pray Psalm 115.1-3.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.

Sing Psalm 115.1-3.
(Plainfield: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us, but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness, ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, “Where is their God on high?”
You rule us, Lord, on high: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Read Luke 18.1-43; meditate on verses 35-43.


1. What was the blind man seeking?

2. What happened after Jesus restored his sight?

What is the point of prayer? That is, why should we pray? What are we hoping for from prayer? How can we know when our prayers are accomplishing anything?

Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord promised, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer. 33.3). The writer of the book of Hebrews instructs us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4.16). Consider this blind man. He called to Jesus urgently, even desperately (vv. 38, 39). He hoped Jesus would hear him and give sight to his blind eyes – a mighty thing such as he had never known. He knew how desperate his need was, and he knew that only mercy and grace from “Jesus, Son of David” (v. 38) would bring him help.

Jesus did not disappoint him (vv. 40-42). Notice the result: “And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God” (v. 43). This is the point of prayer. This is why God hears our prayers, why He grants us mercy and grace in our times of need, and why He continues to do great and mighty things the likes of which we have never seen before. Prayer is for the glory and praise of God, that those who pray, as they are drawn into His Presence and partake of His joy and pleasure (Ps. 16.8, 11), might overflow with praise and thanks, thus becoming agents of grace to lead others to know, love, serve, and glorify Him as well (2 Cor. 4.15).

Our time of need is all the time. Great and mighty outcomes for the glory of God await us. We must call and call and call on Him, pleading for mercy and grace, laying our needs before Him, then going forth from His Presence to praise and glorify Him all day long. This is the point of prayer. Aim for it, and you won’t be disappointed.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth” (Ps. 33.4).

Once again, the story Jesus told about the Pharisee and the tax collector was being played out in real time. On this occasion the blind beggar played the role of tax collector. He cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Lk. 18.38, 39). The tax collector, as we recall, said much the same thing, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Lk. 18.13).

And in both situations the men got what they wanted. The tax collector longed for forgiveness, and the blind beggar his sight. And in fulfilling their requests, Jesus fulfilled a prophecy about Himself, “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house” (Is. 42.6, 7).

And the point of the parable and the healing of the blind beggar? The beneficiaries of the blessings were to give glory and praise to God. And the result? Glory and praise can be contagious! Just look at what happened to “all the people”. When they saw the work of Jesus, they “gave praise to God” (Lk. 18.43).

This should be what happens in our Personal Mission Field. Our glory and praise to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, should be so pervasive that others catch it and give praise and glory also. “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4.20).

Cry out in prayer to Jesus. Plead for His mercy. “Have mercy upon me, a sinner; and open my blind eyes to the point and power of prayer. Let my life be so full of glory and praise to You that others catch it, carry it, and spread it far and wide so that You, Jesus, will become the joy of the whole earth” (Ps. 48.2).

The point of our life and the point of prayer.

For reflection
1. What do we mean by saying that the point of prayer is to glorify God?

2. Praise and thanks to God are contagious. How could your being more a person of praise and thanks help you in working your Personal Mission Field?

3. What does it say about Jesus that He hears our prayers and is eager to show mercy and provide grace to help in our time of need?

The grace of Christ ought to be thankfully acknowledged, to the glory of God. It is for the glory of God if we follow Jesus, as those will do whose eyes are opened. We must praise God for his mercies to others, as well as for mercies to ourselves.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 18.35-43

Pray Psalm 115.9-18.
Pray that the Lord will increase your prayers, sharpen your focus in prayer, make you more constant in prayer, and use your prayers to glorify Him in every area of your life.

Sing Psalm 115.9-18.
(Plainfield: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus)
All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to His Name be glory –
find in Him their help and shield – ever to Your Name be glory!
O Israel, trust the Lord!  He helps us evermore!
Fear Him obey His Word: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Blessings from our gracious Lord – ever to Your Name be glory –
will attend us evermore – ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless all who fear You, Lord, all who obey Your Word,
all who Your Name adore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Grant us, Savior, great increase – ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless us with eternal peace – ever to Your Name be glory!
Heaven and earth are Yours; let every soul adore
and bless You evermore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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