If our lives are full of tasks and clutter, what difference does prayer make? When we encounter God, like Moses did on the holy mountain, it changes the way we wake up and live out our days. Pastor Lutzer unveils the heart of intercession through Moses’ three prayers face-to-face with God. Nothing else really matters in life until we experience God.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we have this very critical series. These messages could actually be life-changing for you. Certainly, as I begin to think about the glory of God (And by the way, the title of this series is “Living For The Glory Of God.”) I’ve discovered that it simplifies my life, it clarifies my values, it helps me to see what is most important in life. And the best example we can have of someone who decided that he wanted to see God’s glory above anything else and everything else, was of course, Moses. As we learned last time, God had revealed Himself to Moses. Moses had experienced the glory of God, and then Moses begins to pray for the people. He prayed for them because of the great sin of the golden calf.
The first prayer that Moses prays is for pardon. That’s the most basic prayer that you and I can pray. It’s oftentimes the prayer of a new convert. “Oh God, forgive me!” Pardon. That’s what Moses prayed for and God says, “Okay, I’m going to answer your prayer. There’s going to be judgment but there’s also going to be forgiveness.”
The second prayer that Moses prays is not just for pardon. He is beginning to lean into God now. And so, he prays for God’s presence. This is in chapter 33. As a matter of fact, he tells God, “If you don’t go with us, I’m not going.” And God says, “Okay, Moses, I’m going to go with you.” But Moses is still not satisfied. He comes now to the real heart of intercession—the real reason that you and I should pray. And he says, “Oh God, show me Your glory.”
Now, what’s remarkable about this, in chapter 33, is that if you go back to chapter 24, and I think I mentioned this last time, he’s already seen the glory of God. The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the privileges that we have we’ll discuss in another episode, but Moses directly experienced the glory of God. In fact, it says that Moses spoke to God face-to-face as a man speaks with his friend. We’re going to have to pick that up next time, and understand what is really being said, but my point is this: That the real purpose of prayer is to get beyond asking God for pardon, even asking Him for His presence, though that’s a very blessed prayer that I have prayed many, many times. What Moses is now doing, he’s saying, “God, I want to experience your person. Give me God.” And God very graciously, as all of us know, put him in the cleft of a rock. And the Bible says that the glory of God passed by, and Moses was able to see a glimpse of God. No matter how often Moses experienced the glory of God, he wanted to see it again and again. He never got enough of fellowship in the very presence of God.
Let me ask you a question: Why do you pray? You say, “Well Pastor Lutzer, I pray so that God will answer all of my requests.” That’s not wrong. But that’s a basic level of praying. You and I have to get beyond that until we say, “Nothing else really matters in my life until I experience God directly face-to-face in His presence.” And, of course, from the standpoint of the New Testament, face-to-face in His presence because of Jesus Christ. Let me ask you something: Is your life cluttered? Are there so many different demands that you are trying to take up—you’re multitasking all the time? Have you ever thought of how simplified things might become, if you wake up every morning and pray a prayer that I try to pray every single morning before I get out of bed? Namely this, “Oh God, glorify Yourself in my life today at my expense.” Then, it’s not about me. It’s always about God and His glory. And God honors a prayer like that because we begin to exist, and we begin to bear fruit, Jesus says, and hereby we experience the glory of God. Be sure to join us again next time. Remember to pray that prayer and as for today you just go with God—go with His glory.