Judges 16:28-30 28 He called out to the LORD: “Lord God, please remember me. Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the leaders and all the people in it. And the dead he killed at his death were more than those he had killed in his life.
What do you want to be known for? What will others say about you at your funeral? Will you be known for a life of sacrificial prayer on behalf of others? Will be you spoken of as a witness for Jesus Christ in your workplace and among your neighbors? What will your legacy be?
I think our legacies can be found in our prayer lives. Those who pray for comfort and ease and personal success will be known for living in ease and worldly goals achieved. Those who prayed to see neighbors saved, new Christians discipled, and churches strengthen will be known as pillars in the Kingdom of God.
We see how our prayers can shape our legacies in the prayers of Samson. The Holy Spirit chose to present the church with two prayers of this controversial judge. Samson utters a swift selfish prayer for water in Judges 15, and he utters a swift selfish prayer for vengeance in Judges 16. If you wanted to describe Samson to someone who is new to the faith – you could sum up his life and ministry with the words: selfishness and vengeance.
Your Prayers Reveal Your Faith
Samson was thirty and prayed for water. Samson was mocked by enemies and prayed for vengeance. The amazing part of the story of Samson is God answer to Samson’s prayers. He provided! Samson may have been a fool before everyone else. He destroyed his testimony and ended his life a blind slave. He was still a man of faith.
Coming before God regularly in prayer reveals your faith in Him. It may not be perfect. You may ask for the wrong things and only pray over the wrong issues, but it is important because prayer reveals your dependence on God. Better to be a sinner who falls on his knees in prayer than a priest who doesn’t need to come before God in prayer.
Your Prayers Reveal Your Heart
Think for a moment now about David. You could make an argument that David wasn’t a whole lot better than Samson at times. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband Uriah to cover the sin. That is one of only many lapses in judgment by David.
Today David is not known as a murder but as the man after God’s own heart. Where do we see David’s heart in the narrative of his life? We see David’s heart in his prayers. We read of his gratitude before God in II Sam 7. We read of his trust in God in Psalm 23. We read of his repentance in Psalm 51.
Samson’s prayer life on the other hand was limited to selfish longings and a thirst for vengeance. Today we know Samson by his selfish lust and vengeful violence before anything else. What does the content of your prayers reveal about your soul? Does it show a lack of faith by your unwillingness to come before God in prayer? Does it show a man or woman after God’s own heart as you draw near to Him in worship and repentance? You are making your eternal legacy today through your prayers offered to the Father.