“For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” – Ezra 8:22-23
In Ezra 8, Ezra and about 1,500 other people are about to make the 900 mile trek from Susa to their homeland in Jerusalem. The pagan king has been very favorable to their cause so far, willing to provide for all their needs. However, when it comes time to leave, Ezra is hesitant to ask the king for soldiers to accompany them and protect them on their journey. Why? Apparently, Ezra previously told the King that “the hand of God is for good for all who seek Him.” A request for protection could have marred the identity of God that Ezra portrayed before the king. Why should they need protection if God’s hand is with them?
Instead of asking the king for protection, Ezra asks God. Sure enough, God answers Ezra’s requests and protects them on their journey to Jerusalem. God honors our efforts to honor Him and demonstrate His character to others by depending on Him. In fact, all of our prayers should have the underlying theme of Ezra’s: God’s glory, honor, and fame.
- Confess and repent of any ways in which your life contradicts who God is.
- Offer a prayer for a specific need with the glory and honor of God as the goal.
“Father, please help me to honor you with my heart, my lips, and my actions. In all that I do, may I accurately proclaim and demonstrate who You are.”