toward application / why pray

Matter: “If God knows me, why pray? I rarely see things change anyway.”

Means: Turn the lens around; you’re looking at things through the wrong end. You’re making prayer out to be about “changing things” and for that to occur when you want it to happen.

Now God often does change matters in response to our prayers. In ways we can see. Sometimes even exactly the way, and when, we’d want it. But, such must not ever be our total expectation from, or our take on, the purpose of prayer.

It is imperative for us to see prayer primarily as a means by which God changes us, not merely our situations. Prayer wasn’t made for our merely getting what we want and our deliverance, so much as it was made for our exercise in becoming what he wants and our development. (Read that last sentence again, slowly and thoughtfully.) Prayer is about growing in our relationship with, and our reliance on, God our Savior, not about us and our surroundings. Prayer is not about reaping what we want. Prayer is about belonging to God in every way, come what may.

God is infinitely more than the granter of our wishes. He is our Sovereign, not our slave. He must be enough for us; his grace sufficient for us. This is what he wants you to grow to see and become. He is to be our all in all. He knows us, and our true needs, far better than we do. If he changes things, let those things be in us. If he changes anything else, that will be good and gravy and grace. His will be done.

So … turn the lens around. You need to picture prayer, God, and yourself differently.