Requests • Devotion #2: Prayer Changes Things
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor
My daughter gave me a plaque years ago that said “Prayer Changes Things.” It does, it changes you! It is all about a relationship with Jesus. Prayer is a conversation between the two of you that deepens your relationship with Him. You tell Him your heart, you are hurting, you need a job, you want a baby, and He speaks to you through His written Word, and through the Holy Spirit. As you dig deeper into His Word and listen to the Holy Spirit, you begin to realize He has a plan for your life. He knows what tomorrow will bring, and it may be bigger and better than what you are hoping. If we pray for His will, our minds and attitudes are the ones that change, and we begin to look for what is going to happen next that God has planned for us instead of our worldly desires.
Prayer is not trying to change God’s mind about His plan for our lives. It is about changing our mind to align with His will so that we open our eyes to see His plan.
Prayer changes me! It gets my mind focused on His will, not my will. I ask for things “if it be Your will” and if I do not have my prayer answered, I understand it is either not His will, or not in His timing. When I ask for what He wants me to have (peace, joy, love), He answers because I know He wants me to have these things. This does not mean that life will be wonderful, always. There will be trials, but even in the midst of the trial, I am at peace knowing He is by my side. He is hearing my prayer of sorrow asking for the pain to go away. But I know during this time, He has a plan, and He has a purpose for this trial. I ask “what do you want me to learn from this trial?” I thank Him for it and rejoice that He was with me the entire time and did not abandon me. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
In Jesus’ example of prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, He says, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Here He is talking about our physical needs. Bread was a staple in the Jewish diet, a symbol of God’s provision in the Old Testament. His audience would understand “our daily bread” as meeting their day-to-day needs. When we come humbly in prayer and ask Him to meet our day-to-day needs, we know that He will provide. Jesus did not say, “Ask for lots of money or a better job.” Instead, He said, “ask for your daily needs to be met, and I will meet them.” He knows what we need, and want, before we even ask. But by asking, through prayer, we are the ones who change – our hearts, our minds, our attitudes – about what is important and what God wants for us each day. That is, to be humble, to be still, and to watch and listen for God’s leading in our lives.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
“Remember that prayer doesn’t depend on how you pray. The power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer.” Max Lucado