Praying Effectively-Part 6

Part 6 – The Right Motive

2Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. Knowing this piece of yummy truth, you and I ought to do everything within our power to become what God loves. In pursuit of this, it is incumbent on us to try to understand what it means to be cheerful, and then we should try to encompass all that it entails. To be cheerful is to be full of good spirits. It is to have an obedience to God without any hint of resentment. Cheer dispels worry or gloom, and this is the way we are to give to others; packed with faith that as we give, we are pleasing God and therefore setting up both the recipient and ourselves for a blessing. It cannot be lost on us that this cheerful state of being flows from the heart, and the heart is the part of the soul that is known as the ‘feeling center’. It’s where our emotions and feelings get their marching orders. It’s also the place where our true motivation for pleasing God is made clear.

There is a reason for everything under the sun. Every action, feeling, thought, and attitude we express has a reason. Behind this reason is a motive that we’ve produced to serve either us or God. Our hearts are where all this stored. The heart is a container, and it holds on to stuff. Jesus Christ called it a ‘treasury’. In Matthew 12:35(NLT), he said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.”  Heavenly Father examines our hearts, because the heart tells Him about our motivation. The Old Testament has given us a profound truth that reveals this. It occurred during the time that God set about to install a new king and replace Saul, the prior king of His people living during those times. God told the prophet, Samuel, in 1Samuel 16:7(NKJV), “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

It is clear from God’s Word that a person can have the most attractive and beautiful physical exterior but have the most corrupt and wicked motives in their hearts. God said in Jeremiah 17:9(NKJV), “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Sometimes, we fail to humble ourselves and recognize that we can come to God in prayer with a heart that has the wrong motive and intention. In many cases, we do not even realize this, but it is important to always pray that God will reveal it to us so that we can correct ourselves.

It is often said about human beings, particularly those living in this generation, that we want what we want when we want it, and we won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Heavenly Father’s desire is to build with us a relationship of trust, and this kind of ‘want it now’ posture doesn’t allow Him access.  Our motivation should be to give God glory, and this requires us to pray in way that His Will is first and foremost in our hearts.  

Glory is an honor that should be given to God by everything in the universe, because all things were made by Him from His glory and through His Son, Jesus Christ; therefore, giving God glory is the purpose of all things. Anything that is glorious is worthy of glory, and there is none more glorious than our God. But, how do we give Him glory? To examine this question more fully, let’s look in Hebrews 1:1-3(NLT). This passage states: “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.” Throughout ancient times, God spoke to seers and prophets and gave them prophetic glimpses of His plans. Although the prophets did not fully comprehend the breath and width of all that Christ would accomplish for us, all these glimpses pointed to Jesus Christ. Now, you and I didn’t just get a glimpse, we have witnessed the real thing, because we have the Spirit of Christ living in us. We have the beginning of our new life in Christ, and it is in him that we live, breathe, and have our being.

Jesus Christ is everything God had in mind for humanity, and the entire life of Christ contains the language God speaks. Jesus is everything God would do and be in human form. Christ is our Lord, and his is the example we must follow. He is the executive authority of God and he holds everything that exists together. He is sitting at the right hand of God’s throne, where there is majesty and glory beyond anything you and I can articulate. Our Heavenly Father has elevated Jesus Christ to such a height that ultimately every knee will bow to him. To think that the same relationship He has with Christ He wants with us is almost unimaginable, but it is true. Psalm 104:1-2(NLT) tells us, “1 Let all that I am praise the Lord. O Lord my God, how great you are!  You are robed with honor and majesty. 2 You are dressed in a robe of light.” This is the majesty and imaginable splendor of our God. There is none like Him, and yet, He desires intimacy with us, to walk and talk with us daily.  

Our faith in God and what He has done through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, demonstrates our love for Him. God will examine our hearts. He said in Jeremiah 17:10(NLT), “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Our responsibility is to keep our containers filled with the love of Christ, so when God examines it, He sees a mirror reflection of Himself. We must have a commitment to put His Will first, but sometimes our hearts are filled with our own personal agenda, and it doesn’t include what is best for everyone. God’s sees everything. He knows the past, present, and the future. His plan considers the welfare of everyone involved. So, we must understand that when our motives are not where they should be, God does not punish us, He teaches us. He helps us to see what we need to see so that we begin to pray like Jesus Christ. Then we will witness the extraordinary blessings of obedience to God’s Will.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Praying Effectively: Part 6 – The Right Motive”, written by JMack,© 2021. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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