As part of my study on prayer this year, I have been reading the prayers of Bible characters. Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving in I Samuel 2:1-10 is full of praise to God. She begins her prayer by saying, “My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord….because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” The passage continues with her describing God and His wonderful works.
From there, I moved to a prayer of David in II Samuel 7:18-29. In verse 22, he says, “Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee.” He goes on to say in verse 26, “And let thy name be magnified for ever,” and in verse 28, “And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true.”
What struck me about these prayers is their focus. Both Hannah’s and David’s prayers are centered on God, not themselves. Certainly we are told to bring our requests to God and that’s a large part of prayer. However, I fear that I concentrate most often on asking for my needs to be met when I should spend more of my prayer time in worshipping and praising God. As I recognize and name His attributes and recall what He has done through creation and in my own life, then I can move into my prayer requests with a heart already full of His glory and power.
May I learn from these saints of old to make more of my prayer about God, and less of it about me.