Prayer Changes Me
Written By Nathan Miller
If God never again gave me what I asked for when I pray, I’d still pray. Now, I do believe God answers prayer, and sometimes He does so by giving us what we ask. But even if He didn’t, I’d still pray. Because prayer changes me.
I begin and end every day with prayer, and I have done so, with some measure of consistency for maybe 20 years. So everyday I begin my engagement in the world by spending time with God, telling Him essentially that I cannot do my day without Him. Yes, I ask Him for things and for help in certain areas, but that daily coming, over and over again, consciously entering His presence and confessing my need for Him, changes me. I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago.
You see, on my own, I tend toward one of two extremes. I either drift into believing I can do everything myself, which leads to pride and self-sufficiency, or I start feeling anxious and overwhelmed by things in my life, resulting in workaholism, fear, or despair. However, when I begin my day with prayer, it forces me away from either extreme and I’m more likely to end up in a place of joyful dependence. I want to build habits in my life that lead to joyful dependence!
I think this is, in part, why in the fourth chapter of his letter to the Philippians Paul commands them to pray. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (vs.4 & 6). Why? So God will give you whatever you want? No. It’s better than that! Paul says that when we pray like that “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (v.7).
That is what I want. Not more stuff. Not an easy life. Not even all the things that deeply matter to me. I want the kind of peace that guards my heart and leads to rejoicing. Prayer changes you. It changes me. And that is the kind of change we need.
Week 7 of 10 Prayer
Take time today to pray through Philippians 4:11b-13. Make it your own. Pray God’s words back to Him. One of the best ways to meditate on God’s word is to pray through it. Let the concepts, ideas, and images marinate in your soul as you internalize the Word.
Each week we take time to learn more about the disciplines. Take the next 5 minutes to get an introduction to WHY we need to learn MORE about prayer from Andrew Jones.
Take time to reread Philippians 4:10-23 from Sunday. Review your notes. What is God bringing back to mind from His Word?