My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord

A model prayer for us.

Luke 1:46-55 (ESV)

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Mary’s heart soars and an inspired song, known as the Magnificat, springs forth. Part of the beauty of the Magnificat is Mary’s holy attitude.

When we pray for someone who is pregnant, what do we usually pray for? Do we ask for things like an easy pregnancy? How about a safe delivery?

Mary gets none of that; she delivers in a stinking cattle stall and has to lay her child in a manger. What Mary does get is buckets of God’s grace and the thrill of knowing that He has big plans for her (and Elizabeth) and their sons.

Imagine praying at a baby shower and tossing in a request for something big. “May the Lord use this child to do mighty things.” “May the Holy Spirit fill this child with his peace.” “Dear Lord, give these parents the strength to raise up the child in the spirit and power of Elijah.”

OK, that might not go over so well. I’m not recommending you really do that, but it does seem like we’re always asking God for a boring life. Mary’s life was never boring.

The Magnificat is Mary embracing her destiny.

What is your Magnificat? Unlike the Lord’s Prayer, the Magnificat doesn’t lend itself to straight recitation because only Mary can say all these things (though some do recite it). But, it’s a wonderful model for how to praise God for his magnificent works. How would you customize it to fit your life?

The beginning looks good. Actually, I prefer the King James – My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

A lot of it fits as is. Think back … Customize it. Memorize it. Make it your own.

My soul doth magnify the Lord.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.