The God Of Power And Glory
A dear friend and I were talking recently, and she said, “All of my life I’ve prayed to the God of Power.”
We sat in silence for a moment, and then she continued, “The God who had the power to answer all of my prayers.”
We looked at each other, and then she asked, “What about the God of Glory?”
Maybe that question comes with age. I’m not sure.
When we were children, we were taught to pray to the God of Power. We were told that He listened to our every prayer. We learned that sometimes He said “no” or “later.”
A long time ago I heard a woman say, “Just ask once. He hears you the first time.”
But in Luke 18, Jesus told his disciples a parable about praying constantly. He said there was a widow who kept coming to a judge with the plea, “Grant me justice against my adversary.” The judge refused her and refused her, but finally he relented. Jesus asked, “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?”
St. Paul encouraged us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”
And then, of course, there is St. Monica, the mother who prayed for her wayward son, Augustine. Her prayers were certainly answered as he became a Doctor of the Church.
This God of ours, this God of Power, we think we know Him.
What about our God of Glory? The God who sits on the throne? What do we know about Him?
Ezekiel was a Hebrew priest and prophet who wrote about the vision he was given of the glory of God. “Just like the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day so was the appearance of brilliance that surrounded Him. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face.”
We serve one God who has many titles. Is it time to turn to the God of Glory? If we did that, would our prayers become more about Him and less about us? In order to do that, we would need to be filled with a sense of trust. Trust that He would divinely take care of us; trust that He truly would hear each prayer and petition.
I was five years old the first time I opened the “Baltimore Catechism,” and this question remains with me: Why did God make me? The catechism says, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.”
That sounds to me like the God of Glory, the God whose name should make us tremble with awe and, yes, with fear.
I’m in my mid-60s now. Maybe it’s time to start asking less and praising more.