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September 6, 2021
January 18, 2024

God's Delight & Our Prayer Life

God loves you! Please do not tune this out just because it’s a simple truth you’ve heard before. He really does love you. The most important, powerful, and beautiful person in the entire universe loves you. And not only that, He is your Father. If you are a Christian, you are God’s child. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that, “In love [God] predestined us for adoption to himself as [sons and daughters] through Jesus Christ …” It was in love that God made us His children. He didn’t do it out of obligation, nor did He do it out of pity. God loved you before the foundations of the world and He loves you right now. Take a moment to relish in that!

The truth of God’s love for you has everything to do with your prayer life because prayer is an intimate invitation to connect with Him. When you love someone and you know they love you too, you want to spend time with them. You want to talk with them. My hope for you is that you would see how God’s love for you fuels your prayer life because of three beautiful truths:

God loves you and delights in you.
God loves you and delights in your prayers.
God loves you and offers you His power and His presence.

God loves you and delights in you.

My daughter Brooklyn is ten weeks old today. I love her so much. When I come home and get to see her, I can’t help but smile. Even her little cries make me smile. I am experiencing—in a very powerful way—what it means to delight in someone simply because I love them. Right now, Brooklyn can’t do anything. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She probably doesn’t even know who I am. But I love her and delight in her. Not because of what she can do, but because of who she is—my daughter.

What amazes me is that my love for her is broken. My fatherly love is not perfect and yet it feels so real and so strong. How much more is our Heavenly Father’s perfect love for you and me? God delights in you because you are His child and He perfectly loves you. Did you know that right now, as you read this, God is delighting in you and rejoicing over you? Not because of what you can do, but because of who you are—His child.

“For the LORD takes delight in his people …” (Psalm 149:4 NIV)

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness … he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

If you are a Christian, the Lord your God truly is in your midst. The Holy Spirit dwells within you. Through your faith in Jesus, right now, God rejoices over you with gladness and sings over you loudly. And guess what. This is all true before you open your mouth to Him in prayer. He delights in you simply because of who you are—His child and He loves you.

God loves you and delights in your prayers.

Once you grasp how much God loves and delights in you as His child, you will understand more deeply how God receives your prayers. He delights in them. They make him smile. Why? Because, in prayer, you connect with Him. You talk and relate with Him. It is a sweet moment between you and your Father.

“The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases Him.” (Proverbs 15:8 NIV)

If you are a Christian, you are righteous. On the cross, Jesus took your sin and gave you His perfect righteousness. This is why Hebrews 4:16 says you can, “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.” Your righteousness in Christ makes you upright before the Lord. So your prayers really do please Him as Proverbs 15:8 says.

Your prayers do not please God because they contain information He needs. God already knows what your prayers will be. “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:4 ESV). God wants your prayers because He wants to be your Father. When you pray, you come into His presence and He gets to hear His child’s voice call out to Him!

I truly cannot wait till I hear Brooklyn say “Da Da” for the first time in a matter of months. It will shatter my heart into a million tender pieces. I look forward to that moment not because I need her to confirm that I am her father, but because I already love her and delight in her even before she can talk. Those words will not be information I need to hear. I want to hear them. I want to hear my daughter call out to me. Those words will be precious and I will delight in them.

Since God does not change, He delights in your prayers just as much as yesterday as He does today—as He will forever (Hebrews 13:8). Go to your Father knowing that He is never bored of you or your prayers. He loves them, delights in them, and wants to hear them.

God loves you and offers your His power and presence.

Knowing that God delights in you and in your prayers means that there is nothing off-limits to what you can bring Him. Remember, He already knows. So when you pray, pray broadly and confidently! God loves you and wants you to pray for His power and presence!

Do you believe that God upholds every molecule in the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3)? He is your Father so ask Him for His power!

“Father will you please help …”
“Father will you please fix …”
“Father will you please give …”
“Father will you please change …”
“Father will you please heal …”
“Father will you please stop …”

Ask Him to do powerful things. Things that you have a hard time even imagining. This communicates to your Father that you believe He really does have the power.

But, if our prayers are only requests for God to do something, we will miss out on something even more beautiful—His presence.

In addition to being your Father, look at some of the other ways God relates to you:

  • God is your Wonderful Counselor who wants to listen to you and give you counsel (Isaiah 9:6). In prayer, share your past and present problems or struggles.
  • God is your Shepherd who will lead you, protect you, and provide for you (Psalm 23). In prayer, ask Him to be near you and guide you to pleasant places.
  • God is your Refuge and place to feel safe (Psalm 73:28). In prayer, cast your fears and anxieties on Him and find rest in Him.
  • God is your Friend and can relate to you (John 15:15). In prayer, enjoy time with Him and share your life with Him.
  • Jesus is your High Priest who sympathizes with you and intercedes for you to the Father (Hebrews 4:14-15). In prayer, confess your sins to Him and receive God’s grace and mercy in time of need.

Since God is all of these things to you, ask for His presence. Ask Him to simply be with you. Regardless of your circumstances, in God’s presence, “… there is fullness of joy and at [His] right hand pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 ESV).

God’s power and presence create countless ways for you to converse and relate to Him. If you would like a helpful resource to guide you through some of the various ways the Bible calls us to pray, I encourage you to check out The Austin Stone’s Hour of Prayer. This video will guide you through twelve 5-minute prayer sessions and can be done alone or with a group of people. You can do it in one or multiple sessions.

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Dr. Marshall Perry
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