The other day I was discussing the topic of prayer with a friend and they shared with me an insight that I could not help but sharing with my friends. So here it is.
All too often we have an improper view of prayer and how it relates to both us and God. Many times we are like the disciples asking God what it means to pray. We turn to the LORD’s prayer yet we are stumped at its simplicity and complexity. We are told in Ephesians 6:18 to pray continually, and to pray all types of prayers. In Romans 8:26 we are told not to worry about what to pray for because The Spirit will intercede for us. I find this truth mixed with the conscious effort of Roman 12:1-2 of “Therefore, I call to you brothers, in God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to the patterns of this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve God’s will–His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Through prayer in our exhortations to God we find ourselves searching our heart and finding the places where we come up short. Our prayers tend to center around desire and where this desire is lacking. The desire is lacking because we have searched ourselves and found that we are currently able to fulfill the desire and we need divine intervention in finding fulfillment of the desire which we are praying for. So when we pray there are a number of things that happen. First we search ourself and we find either something inside of us which is currently preventing our desires from being fulfilled or we find that we are ill equipped to personally fulfill our desire. During this process of searching we are proclaiming the humble truth that we are in need of something bigger than us.And when we search and find that there are things preventing us from experiencing our desires we are then able to expose these places of darkness through our prayer. While we are doing both of these things it opens our heart up to seek the desires of God.
You see prayer is not about what we can get from God. Too many times prayer is thought to be the cosmic Walmart, and this is just not the case. But when we search our heart, get on our knees and pray to God to fix brokenness in this world, we find ourselves praying for the desires of God. The more we get on our kness to pray, the more we find ourselves praying for more of the borkness of the world; and the more we pray for the redemtion of the darkness, the more our desires become the same as God’s desire. Yes, God works through prayer, prayer is not just a ‘spiritual’ discipline where people invoke a change based on the idea of a god. God divinely intervenes when we pray. I just want to highligh why we should be praying more, and the positive benifits we receive when we pray for God’s heart.
Finally for example, if I find myself praying to show grace for others, I am admitting there is a darkness in myself that is preventing me from giving grace to others. I am also proclaiming that I want others to experience Grace through me. So through my prayer I am exposing this darkness (my inability to share grace) to the light and allowing it to be burned away by the all consuming fire, God. I am also preparing my heart to grow further in God’s will and desires.
The more we pray the more we find ourselves searching out our own borkness and prepaparing our heart and to be transformed in to the good and pleasing and perfect will of God!