Not to Us, Not to Us!
by Mark D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)
Read: Psalm 115:1-18
Psalm 115 opens with a striking bit of poetry: “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness” (115:1). Though God may richly bless his people, so that they appear to be glorious (115:12-15), the glory belongs to God and God alone.
Psalm 115:1 reminds me of an experience I had almost exactly twenty years ago. For several months, I had been talking with the search committee of Irvine Presbyterian Church about becoming their Senior Pastor. When the committee finally voted to choose me, I was thrilled. But I knew that their selection was not the end of the process.
In a Presbyterian church, only the congregation can extend a call to a new pastor. So I had to be voted on by the membership of Irvine Presbyterian Church. This vote would happen at a congregational meeting on a Sunday, following worship services in which I was the preacher.
As you can imagine, I was very nervous as I got ready to preach my “try out” sermon. I wanted the people to like me, at least enough to vote for me. I wasn’t really afraid of not being elected by the congregation, but I was scared that I might receive a large number of negative votes, which would have been a blow to my confidence and self-image.
On the Saturday night before my big Sunday, I went to the church campus to pray. Nobody was there, so I could pray openly. As I walked around the church buildings, I began to ask God to help me, to bless my preaching, to open the people’s hearts, and to secure a positive vote.
But the more I walked and prayed, the more I found my priorities shifting.
Please read the rest of this post at The High Calling: Daily Reflection by Mark D. Roberts to find out how his priorities shifted and how this will help you in your prayers.
Here is the prayer that Mark ended up praying.
Mark D. Roberts
Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts is Senior Advisor and Theologian-in-Residence of Foundations for Laity Renewal, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas and the parent organization of Laity Lodge. He has written several books, including his most recent: Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2007)