Pro 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
This verse made me smile today --- I hope it does you, too. It reminded me of something that an older evangelist said one time as I sat under his teaching: did you ever stop to think that your praying, and asking God for His gifts, His grace, His will, is something that brings Him delight?
Let's think about what delight means; Webster lists these synonyms: extreme satisfaction, pleasure, joy. Wow! An awesome, holy God is joyful when I pray? It gives Him pleasure to hear and grant my request? I don't know about you, but that is something that is so big, I just needed to sit back and ponder it.
The key here is that we must be upright; we must be "in-tune" so to speak, with God's Word and His will. For you see, the wicked can even make sacrifices to try to cover their sin, or to persuade God to favor them, or to try to delight Him, and this verse says that is an abomination. When you look through the Old Testament, you will see two things that have to do with this verse. First, sacrifices were made as a way to atone for sin before Christ's sacrifice on the cross. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." Second, abomination is used to describe some pretty horrific stuff in the Scripture, so, when a wicked person would think to himself "Haha! I'll just fool God by offering this, the finest calf (or other offering) that money can buy, and that will take away all of my sin! I'll be good to go!" (I know they didn't talk quite that way -- that's just my style of writing!) But Solomon is saying that God is not fooled; He is not mocked; He KNOWS. And He thinks it is an abomination.
By contrast, when we come to God with a child-like faith, and a thankful heart, and make our request known to Him --- and ask Him to have His will over all, He is joyful. He is delighted. He takes pleasure in granting those desires, or in showing us His will. (Obviously, if I'm asking for a new tractor, because the old one is sitting dead-as-a-doornail out in the pasture, that's not what we're talking about here. But if I ask Him to help us find a way to overcome the death of the tractor, like strength to work overtime and afford the repairs, or a neighbor selling a good used one, than that is more in the spirit of this verse!) And we can always count on Him to grant our requests for forgiveness of sin, for help in living out the fruits of the Spirit, and for opportunities to tell others about Him.
How long has it been since we delighted our Lord, by praying?