The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.Proverbs 15:8
Ephesians 5:10 has an important command for those who are following Jesus. It calls us to “discern what is pleasing to the Lord,” with the point being that we would then do what pleases him.
One thing God specifically tells us in his Word that pleases him are the prayers of his people. Proverbs 15:8 says, “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.” Our prayers as followers of Jesus please God. He knows everything we’re going to say and ask before we ever think to even say and ask it, yet it pleases him to hear us pray.
In The Magician’s Nephew, the first book in C.S. Lewis’ classic Chronicles of Narnia series, there are some great lines that offer insight into our relationship with God through the characters’ interactions with Aslan the lion. An example of this comes when Digory, Polly, and the talking horse Fledge set off to retrieve a piece of fruit from a particular garden at Aslan’s instruction. When they stop for the night, Polly and Digory realize they are hungry but have nothing to eat. While Fledge the horse eats some grass, they begin to discuss why Aslan didn’t provide Polly and Digory with any food.
- “Well I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.
- “I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.
- “Wouldn’t [Aslan] know without being asked?’ said Polly.
- ‘I’ve no doubt he would,’ said the Horse (still with his mouth full). ‘But I’ve a sort of an idea he likes to be asked.”
I can think of times when I’ve been working on something at home and my wife or daughters will ask me to do something for them. Far more times than I care to admit, I’ve felt irritated by the disturbance and responded in some way that conveys the message, “Don’t you know I’m busy?!” Unlike Aslan, I didn’t like to be asked in those moments.
But God’s never bothered, annoyed, or irritated when we come talk to him. Instead, he’s excited about it! He’s never short on time and doesn’t need us to “make it quick.” He simply wants us to talk to him openly, honestly, and humbly about what’s going on in our lives.
God is pleased when we pray because ultimately a life fully dependent on him both brings him glory and is our greatest good. Jesus showed us what complete dependence on the Father looked like. Most often, he showed us this through his reliance on the Father through prayer. To become like Christ is God’s will for our lives. So our greatest good will be found, like Christ, in dependence on the Father in prayer. Glorifying God in this way both pleases him and is what’s best for us.
So talk with God today. It’s good for you. And it pleases him.