Prayers of Praise

Prayers of Praise with Mary


Luke 1:46-49

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.

Luke 1:46-49

This beautiful prayer that we need not save only for Christmas study teaches us how we should start our prayers: with praise.

It came from the lips of a very ordinary young woman, and it reflects not just Hannah’s song from 1 Samuel 2, but also over 10 Old Testament Scriptural references. This reveals Mary was a woman who knew God’s Word. 

Not just in a, “I’ve heard that verse before” way, but in a deep, intimate way where she could use the passages tucked away in her heart for praise. 

We also see how Mary, exhausted most likely from her journey (and pregnancy!), did not use this moment with Elizabeth to collapse in fear or anxiety. She didn’t boast sinfully, either, about God’s choice. Mary set aside her physical and sinful desires in that moment to praise God. 

What an example of the importance of studying Scripture and praising God no matter what we feel!

Magnifying the Lord meant Mary set aside all feelings of pride; rejoicing in her Savior meant she understood that, despite her new role in the Messiah’s life, she still needed saving by His hand. Her praise reveals to us the importance of setting aside an earthly perspective. 

Praying praise to God no matter our season of life means we first and foremost focus on the eternal. On who God is. On our need for a Savior. When we begin our prayers magnifying the Lord, the things of earth will fade as we realize how wonderful and full of grace our Savior is!

And before our thoughts fling to excuses of why Mary certainly could exude praise because she was Mary for goodness sake, and we’re simply ordinary people, remember this: 

While God gave her this extraordinary gift of mother of Jesus Christ, Mary truly was simply ordinary. She was poor. She was a woman. She was young. All things that made her nearly on the level of servant at the time. 

Yet this was the one whom God chose. Let us not rush past the attitude of this everyday woman. In the midst of it all, she acknowledged her humble state and praised God for what He was going to do. 

Mary’s praise at what God was going to do, knowing all people would call her blessed, was not because she praised herself. She was not filled with praise and excitement because she understood her name would be remembered by all for all time.

She praised her holy God because He revealed an awe-inspiring aspect of His nature — He chooses the lowly, the poor, the ordinary, the mundane to fulfill His purposes.

And it’s all for His glory.

So as you begin your times of prayer, begin with praise. Learn from Mary, the poor, ordinary young girl who magnified God’s name in the face of potential death for her condition. Let us praise God for who He is. Let us praise Him for using us despite who we are. Let us praise and magnify His name, forever and always.

Reflection Questions

  • What do we learn about God from this passage?
  • Why is this such an important prayer for us today?
  • How will you find joy in your everyday through what you’ve learned in this passage?
Prayers of Praise

Further reading: 1 Samuel 2

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