Glory Prayers

Presumptuous, yet obedient.

Daniel 9:16–18

“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.”

This is beautiful. Daniel pours out his heart, asking that Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain, would be restored to its former glory. And Daniel wants this, not for himself, but for the Lord’s sake, because Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. It’s all about God’s glory.

I try to pray in this style, but it feels so presumptuous. “Lord, for Your own glory, heal my friend.”

It is presumptuous. That’s why Christ commanded us to pray for these things.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. — John 15:7

Without the Lord’s commanding us to ask for what we desire, those prayers would be pure chutzpah. Instead, they’re pure obedience. Still, this passage highlights how we should be mindful of God’s glory in our prayers. That should affect more than just our style; it should affect what we pray for. What does, “abide in Me” mean, anyway?

Well, “and My words abide in you,” definitely refers to knowledge of the Bible. Abiding in Christ, combined with knowing scripture, surely means having scripture’s perspective, particularly about what’s important. What’s important is God’s glory, as embodied in the commands—love God and love thy neighbor.

So, abiding in Christ definitely includes prioritizing His glory. Our prayers should reflect that.

If glorifying God is of greatest importance, how should we pray?

Of course, our requests for things like healing and guidance should be couched in terms of His glory, but should there be some glory-specific subjects? Praying for revival is one that we’ve already mentioned. Are there others?

Daniel’s prayer provides a model. He specifically mentions something specific that “unglorifies” God, namely, “Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.” So, one way to pray for God’s glory is to ask God to help us remove the stains in ourselves and our society that embarrass Him.

The current state of Christianity in America gives us plenty of material to work with.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

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.