Praying Like Mary Prayed

Mary’s prayer–a “shouting” prayer

                           Comments on Luke 1:39-56

This is the first time John the Baptist “testified” of Jesus—in his mom’s womb! Talking about doing your job! He did it from before birth until his death and his witness still speaks to us today!

Maybe Mary worried how Elisabeth would respond. After all, she was not fully married and the neighborhood gossips were probably keeping the air hot.

This moment gives birth to one of the powerful prayers of the Bible. Mary’s response to John and Elisabeth’s testimony:

Luke 1:46 (NLT)

Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.

How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

This is a shouting prayer. Mary begins by rejoicing. Our generation is so used to “diet joy” that we don’t always know how to rejoice in the Lord, which is the real thing. This is a joy that goes beyond a big promotion, winning the Super Bowl, or drug-induced joy.

Real human joy that comes from your spouse, your children and the good things of life are just a candle in the sunshine compared to this.

This is a joy that the Holy Spirit gives, one of the fruits of His living in us.

For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,

and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

Mary rejoices in what God’s work means to her. It’s not selfish to ask for yourself or rejoice in God for yourself. Jump in the water! Swim. Enjoy! I’m not sure that people were calling her “blessed” at that moment and from a human point of view it must have been extremely difficult.

But God provided a believing husband and Mary had the truth of God’s promise living in her womb. She believed and she rejoiced in some things that she hadn’t seen yet. Yet, she knew them in her heart.

The special thing about Mary wasn’t her physical beauty, but it was an incredible faith that accepted God’s promise and His calling to her. She was willing to hurt to get the blessing.

And she had a heart that pondered. She thought and meditated, mixing God into the recipe of her life and what was happening to her. Luke 2: 19, NLT says, “…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.”

For the Mighty One is holy,

and he has done great things for me.

He shows mercy from generation to generation

to all who fear him.

God’s goodness isn’t limited to certain BIG faith people in the Bible. His mercy touches all generations of those who fear Him.

His mighty arm has done tremendous things!

He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.

He has brought down princes from their thrones

and exalted the humble.

The big shots rig the system to favor themselves but when God fulfilled His Key Promise, he chose a humble peasant, someone hungry. From a human standpoint Mary must have felt herself poor and despised by “great” people. Yet, God chose her!

If we’re hungry for God and hungry to be used He will visit us. If we’re rich and have need of nothing, we’ll leave God’s presence empty-handed. Am I hungry or full as far as my relationship with God is concerned?

He has filled the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away with empty hands.

He has helped his servant Israel

and remembered to be merciful.

Mary sees this blessing for all Israel, not only herself. She grasps the significance of this baby in her womb and she’s amazed because she knows personally how miraculous His conception was.


For he made this promise to our ancestors,

to Abraham and his children forever.”

She knows that this is the Big One, the big promise of God. (Genesis 12 and also chapter 17). Finally. I’m sure even Mary didn’t understand at this time how world-shaking the promise was and how it would mean salvation for billions. But she had faith and God used her. She rejoiced in what she knew. You and I need to learn how to enter into the joy of His promise.

“Lord Jesus, I shout for joy because You’ve saved me and forgiven me from sin. You are faithful. My life has meaning because I’m in your plan until I come home to You. Help me to be a channel for your faithfulness and healing to others. I trust You Lord.”

Photo by Courtney Kammers on Unsplash

The Remarkable Connection Between Praying and Sneezing

Pray-ers are a lot like sneezers—there are all kinds.

For instance, some sneezers are “blast-a-hole-in-the-wall” sneezers. There’s no art. Just suck in a week’s worth of air and “Ahhhhhhhh-CHOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Woe be to the person who steps between this sneezer and the wall.

The air current from the sneeze registers about seven on the Richter scale.
If all you want to do is expel whatever is tickling your nose, I guess this is okay. It’s not pretty. If others aren’t expecting it, you may give them a heart attack, but hey, it works.
Some folks pray like this. No art, just get it out. When they pray the rafters rumble, the windows rattle and dust floats down from the ceiling. If Jesus had prayed like these folks when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter, James and John wouldn’t have slept instead of praying.
Sleeping would have been impossible.
Other sneezers are much more artful. Instead of trying for the big bang, they aim for style and understatement. “Ah-choo!” they squeak and daintily dab at their nose with a handkerchief.
And some folks pray like this. They want to express themselves in a sophisticated fashion so they seem to pray with one pinky in the air, like cultured people used to drink tea in the pre-Starbucks world. Continue reading

Why God Refuses To Say “No” To You


The French language has a peculiarity that I like. Often when the answer is, “Yes!” they don’t just say one “yes” in response but “Oui, oui!” (Yes, yes!) Sometimes even “oui, oui, oui!”

So, if your wife looks at you menacingly and asks you if you remembered to do what she asked you to, you can respond, “Oui, oui!” Otherwise you can slap your head and say, “Ah, I forgot!” (You probably won’t slap it as hard as she would have).

The Lord must be French because He has a tendency to answer, “Yes, yes!”

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:19-21, NKJV)

We’ve all heard it preached, “God always answers. Sometimes it’s ‘yes,’ sometimes it’s ‘no’, and sometimes it’s, ‘wait.'”

I beg to differ, and you can disagree with me if you wish. But, if I’m asking in faith something God has promised his response is, “Oui! Oui!”

I hear you rumbling out there, “Now hang on David. Don’t you remember that Paul asked three times that a ‘thorn in the flesh’ be taken away from Him and God said, ‘no.'”

Did God say, “No” ? Continue reading

One Shade of Blah!

frownWhat do you do when someone tells you to be happy and you don’t feel happy? And what’s more, you don’t even want to be happy? Well, maybe you’d kind of like to be, but most of the time you’re not. You not really sad either as far as that goes.

You just are.

Your life isn’t characterized by brilliant blues, reds, yellows or greens. And not even shiny black. Color you grey and not several shades of it either.

I knew a guy one time that could take the color of life from me with the sound of his voice. I could be sitting at my desk, joyfully listening to the birds singing, basking in a soft sunshine streaming in my window. Suddenly the phone would ring and I heard his voice.

Instant depression. That guy could send Zig Ziglar into despair. Continue reading

Can You Save Up Prayers for a Rainy Day?


I love to have thoughts I‘ve never had before–most of the time anyway. And in 63 years I’ve thought a lot of thoughts. I had a new one the other day but I’m not sure it’s right.

Before and after my wife’s recent surgery, hundreds or (probably) thousands of friends and family prayed for her. Normally, I think that one person praying in faith would have done the job, so it seems to me there ought to be a surplus of prayers stored up somewhere.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I asked my wife, “If every time we had a need now, we could just take some prayers out of that prayer stockpile that was left over? Wouldn’t even have to pray ourselves. Just open up the door to the storeroom, take out a few prayers and “voila”—problem over.” Continue reading