A young girl, perhaps in her early teens, had just received news that her life was about to change. From her perspective it looked like a risky situation. She might even be risking her life. You see, she’s pregnant, unmarried and there’s going to be talk. She lives in a culture where being in that condition could lead to the death penalty or at least public ridicule and social castigation.
What would you do in that situation? Many would consider abortion… or adoption at the very least. What would you do? An accomplished historian records her thoughts and challenges us all to think about her words – words that take us to an awesome worship of Almighty God.
Think about what she says and the last time your prayer was as well phrased… even when the circumstances look dire.
“My soul exalts the Lord”
“Exalts” is an interesting word. It means “to raise in rank and power or to elevate by praise or to give glory”.
When was the last time you prayed and didn’t ask for anything? Do you spend time just thinking about God and not your own self-interests? This girl has a myriad of requests to make. But, she focuses on God and lifts Him up to the highest level of rank, power, and praise. That is focused worship. That is a worship-challenge for my own heart!
Next she prays,
“My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
When things look bad, when it could get dangerous or socially uncomfortable for you, do you rejoice? Her rejoicing isn’t in some masochistic joy of pain, it is a rejoicing that comes from a relationship with God Himself.
A much quoted and, when things get difficult, often forgotten verse of truth says, “All things work together for good for those who love God…” (Romans 8:28) When life is getting tough do you believe that? And rejoice that you know God?
Her next words stop me in my tracks.
“He has had regard for the humble state of His bond-slave.”
Of course, we can be challenged with the idea that we need to be God’s “bond-slaves.” That means voluntarily being under His total ownership and control. But what strikes me is the understanding that this young girl prays this prayer BEFORE anything has happened for her benefit. She is still not sure how things were going to turn out yet she chooses to believe God is paying attention to her situation before there is any actual evidence of that being the case.
When we pray to God as “The Almighty One” do we insist on waiting until He answers our petitions in way we deem acceptable before we give Him grateful worship? This young girl knew in her heart that God would work things out for her good and believed it in advance! That is trust in worship!
Do I put God’s glory before my own need? Do I absolutely KNOW He has regard for my best interests – even going into tough situations?
Lastly this girl brings me to my knees in gratitude and awe-filled worship when she says,
“The Mighty One has done great things for me … And holy is His name.”
Again, this teenager is being grateful while it still was “iffy” how things were going to go.
If we are Christ-followers God has already done some great things for us… even if we face troubles. He has forgiven all our sins, He has placed the Holy Spirit within our hearts to guide, teach, and intercede for us, and He has promised to give us an eternal life of joy, peace, power, and fellowship within His perfect presence. Any other “great things” are frankly just gravy.
How often have I – how often do you – spend time in prayer saying words like, “holy is His name?” I’m certainly not doing it enough. I’m usually too focused on my needs, my desires, my problems, and my own ideas of how things should be going in my life.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says the word “holy” means, “worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.”
Is my worship where this young girl’s was? Is yours?
Read the whole story in Luke 1:46-49. The young, unwed, and pregnant Mary speaks what has become known as “The Magnificat” and challenges us all to worship the Lord, God Almighty as first, foremost, and forever!
Think about it.