Yours, O Lord, is the
greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty;
For all that is in
heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the
kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might;
in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. – 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
While reading through the life of David is 1 Chronicles recently, I found myself intrigued by his prayer in Chapter 29. Starting at verse 10, I noticed how David uses the words “You” or “Yours” in prayer.
The King has been forbidden by God to build a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant, but he is allowed to begin acumination of building materials for the project. After the King and the people of the nation donated an enormous amount of gold, silver, bronze and iron, David offers a prayer. Rejoicing in wiling and loyal heart of the people, David “blessed the LORD before all the congregation of the people.”
The focus of his prayer was not surrounding himself or the project they were beginning to embark upon. The focus of his prayer was God Himself. This was a God-centered prayer. From verse 10 through 19 no less than 27 times, David refers to God in his prayer. “You” and “Yours” dominates these verses. The King of Israel, is offering a God-centered prayer as opposed to a self-centered or problem centered prayer.
Our prayers can be quite revealing. Prayer reveals what or who we are focused upon. It is easy to allow ourselves to come before God with a list of things we want Him to do for us. Listing out in great detail our problems and how we’d like him to arrange things. But that is a self-centered or problem centered position. God needs to be the focus of prayer.
This is harder to do than one may initially believe. We are so prone to think of ourselves first. We seem to enjoy informing Him of our needs and expecting a divine submission to our demands. We even tend to measure the faith of people by how successful they are in receiving what they prayed for. But it seems to me from this passage – and plenty others – faith is the ability to pray in a God-centered manner; making God the object of prayer and not ourselves.
I have often heard the phrase “Prayer changes things.” As a general rule I agree prayer does change things but most often I have found prayer changes me. My outlook on my situation becomes different. I take on an attitude of trust and humility when I become focused on Him. A God-centered prayer highlights His glory, His power, His sovereignty and concentrates on His will.
A God-entered prayer still can include petition for His intervention in a situation. God-entered prayer can ask for healing, protection or provision, but a God-centered prayer is not demanding or arrogant. It is focused on trust, humility, thankfulness and submission.
Yes prayer changes things, but God-centered prayer changes you.