"The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).
It would be one thing, a blessed thing, if Solomon had written that the prayer of the upright is received by God. Or that the Lord has made a way for those who trust Him to come through His grace and mercy. Or that He will accept our prayers despite our imperfections.
It is another thing altogether that the Word of God declares the prayers of the upright to literally delight the heart of God. First, let us define who the "upright" are. Solomon again provides our answer: "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ find deliverance from their fallenness. We are made upright by His working on our behalf as God imputes the righteousness of His Son to us as a free gift of grace received by faith. "Christ is made unto us... righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30).
For those redeemed by such indescribable mercy, sincere, humble prayers offered through the merits of the Lord Jesus elicit in the heart of God the emotional pleasure of delight. Just as we love the communication of those dear to us, our Heavenly Father delights in our voices whenever we turn our hearts toward Home. "Sweet is thy voice... He shall hear my voice" (Song of Solomon 2:14; Psalm 55:17).
I must be honest that I find this truth to be at once most blessed and most troubling. The reason for the former is obvious, namely, that our Lord is so awe-inspiring and so humble that He could find pleasure in those such as ourselves, those with finite minds and formerly rebel hearts, and who still too often walk according to the "weak and beggarly elements" of carnality (Galatians 4:9). What a Heart must beat in the Divine character and nature that creatures can delight Him! "The Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4).
My troubling results from the fact that I often ponder this truth of God's delight in our prayers. I often speak of it in sermons and personal conversations, and I often write about it. Nevertheless, I look back on nearly 36 years of being a believer and sadly recall too much neglect of so great a gift, and so great a Giver. I even look back on yesterday in the realization of so many opportunities to delight the heart of God, and so many opportunities missed.
Wonderfully, the Lord who delights in the prayers of the Grace-redeemed upright also "delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). He forgives prayerlessness as we humbly acknowledge our neglect, and does so joyfully. God is not peevish, and holds no grudges toward children who so often forget to acknowledge Him. Instead, He delights to forgive us, even as He delights in our prayers. Words fail at this point, and I leave your heart to ponder the glory of so great and good a Heart, even as I seek to also consider, and to join David in his holy determination, "He shall hear my voice."
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."