Yes, I believe this. Prayer does change things.
But more than things…it changes ME.
I have always subconsciously categorized my prayers.
Answered. Not answered.
They go in one category or the other. Simple, right?
God is teaching me a lot about prayer and how I tend to categorize the answers I am given. Or not given.
One thing I know for sure. I jump to conclusions quickly. I assess the “right” answer before I even begin to pray. And that dictates how I pray and what I pray for. I find myself deciding on what the appropriate answer should be and I begin asking God for that. Fervently.
When I don’t see God moving in that direction or even doing something completely opposite of what I asked for, I accuse Him of not hearing, not caring, not working.
Sad, but true.
I am beginning to see the limitations that I have placed on God.
If I presume to know the answer or the best direction or the best solution…I am taking away His sovereignty. I am acting as if I know best and am asking Him to work things out toward the solution that I have already come up with.
My head knows that His ways are higher than my ways….and His thoughts higher than my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) But He is showing me that my prayer life doesn’t believe that.
I am beginning to understand that prayer is much more about my heart, than it is about an “item” for which I am asking. I am beginning to see that my heart is what’s most important to God. Before my comfort, my desires, my solutions. He simply wants my heart to trust Him. He wants my heart to follow Him…wherever He may lead. He wants my heart to be confident in His faithfulness, regardless of what the immediate circumstances appear to be saying. He wants me to fully depend on His love for me and that He will work all things together for my good…even the most difficult of things. And yes, that requires some difficult circumstances if He wants to teach me this truth.
But He wants a heart fully surrendered to Him. Even in the messiest parts of life.
I am learning that prayer is all about molding and conforming my heart to align with His. Not a means to an end. And what a drastic difference the 2 of these things are.
I have seen that my prayers have greatly limited God. I have put stipulations and boundaries on what answers are acceptable in my mind. And then hastily projected my feelings about those prayers being “answered or not” onto a perfect and loving and capable God.
I am praying that He would continue opening my eyes and heart to see the bigger picture. To fully trust as I lay down my requests before Him, with no specific answers in mind…only my desire to see Him at work and be glorified!
Difficult to do. But I want to be stretched. I want to be open to bigger possibilities than what I, personally, can contrive. I want front-row seats to see God work in ways that blow my mind. I want to let go of the reigns and allow the CREATOR of the universe to steer.
God, we come to you today, apologizing for the limitations we have placed on You. We have assumed responsibilities that are Yours and not ours. We have presumed to know best when we clearly do not. Please help us to pray with open hearts that are willing to be surprised by the answers You may give. Thank you for being fully trustworthy and more than capable of anything that we could ever ask. Help our prayers to be a vehicle that draws us closer to You…and not simply means to an end. We humbly thank you! Amen.