Monday, July 26, 2010

The Transforming Power of Prayer

I am sometimes accused of over emphasizing prayer. I have to say, I just don't get it. Prayer is the source of our communion with God. It's difficult for me to understand how prayer can be over used, over advised, or even overlooked as a genuine source of help. Prayer is not simply a "pat answer" that I provide when someone has a need; it's truly the very best thing I can do to help.

For me, prayer isn't about asking God to solve every problem - real or imagined - that surfaces in my life. It's about praising Him in all circumstances, pouring out my heart to Him, and asking Him to help me see things more through His point of view. It's about asking for His will, not mine, waiting on Him for His answer, and obeying the direction He provides.

I have seen many answers - some that I would consider miraculous - to many prayers offered personally or by friends of mine. There is no doubt that God hears each one. When we pray, it is our opportunity, and our great honor, to watch God move as He sees best. By God's grace, He doesn't give us everything we request. Instead, He acts with His eternal purposes in mind and joins us as we walk through this journey of life.

Recently, a friend shared her heart with me and I suggested that she pray very specifically about her situation. Her response was a curt, "I have prayed about this." From her tone, it was implied that she is frustrated with the lack of effect prayer has had in this instance. My answer: stay on you knees and keep praying - maybe it's you that God wants to change and not your circumstance.

Many times when we ask God to change our circumstance, He really desires to change us. We pray and ask for what we want; God sees us simultaneously as who we are now and who He wants us to be. We ask for Him to change the people next to us, but God desires to transform us. Are we willing to be the one He changes? Are we willing to receive His direction to us rather than drumming our fingers on a table until we see a change in someone else?

Even though His way isn't often the easiest or most comfortable path, we can rest in confidence knowing that His will is always best. I praise God for His shepherding over my life and am thankful for trust in Him that multiplies daily!

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful
in prayer.

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