Over the course of my life I have heard people say, “Prayer changes things.” I have to agree. I believe that. The question that has often lingered in my mind though is this: What exactly is being changed? It is very easy to say that prayer changes things, but when you do not know what is being changed how can we benefit.
Because of my pastor’s emphasis on prayer in his current sermon series, I have found myself thinking on this subject regularly. As much as I would like to think that I pray as I should, I know it is not the case. As Pastor David was preaching this past week I wrote down this simple phrase.
Prayer is about Preparation
As I have thought about this over the last several days I have found that prayer does change things. What I have failed to realize is the changes serve a greater purpose than I have ever understood. There are at least three individuals or groups that are changed as we pray. I would like to look at each one of these in order.
1. The Person Praying Needs to be Prepared
Prayer prepares me for what God will do. Whenever I fail to pray through an issue with God I am missing out on what I will need to receive and use what God sends to me when he answers. If there is any one person that needs to change as a result of prayer it is me. One of the most confounding realities that James writes about is the fact that prayers go unanswered, not because God does not what to answer them, but because we are asking for things that do no conform to the plans and purposes of God. When we pray amiss, what we are doing is asking God to accept our petitions as his own. We want God to approve of what we have been doing, instead of asking God to allow us into what he is doing. Continue reading Prayers Purpose: What Prayer Actually Changes