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Day 3: How does prayer change me?

“To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will usually abandon prayer for the closer we come to the heartbeat of God, the more we see our need and the more we desire to be confirmed to Christ.” -Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

So, while prayer doesn’t change God, it most certainly can change us. And isn’t that what was needed all along?

Prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind so that He gives us what we are asking for. Instead, it’s about aligning our will with His will. The praying person seeks to bring his or her will into alignment with the will of God. While God hasn’t chosen to reveal all his will concerning everything, He has given us sufficient instruction in scripture to point us in the right direction for whatever we need. Learning what he has said, and seeking to match our desires to his, positions us to receive from God the things he has been willing to give us all along. The good news is that these are the things that are best for us in light of God’s long term plan. It might be healing from illness, a better-paying job, or peace in the midst of very turbulent times. Whatever God chooses to do, He does only because it has been His will to do it from the beginning. You and I don’t persuade Him. He does only what He has always purposed to do.

Questions to ponder:

  • Do you tend to pray to change God or to ask God to change you?
  • How have you seen him change you?

We know the places where we need to change to happen. Maybe we struggle with anger or tend to hurt others with our words. Maybe our thoughts about others poison important relationships. Maybe we need to change the way in which we use our devices as our main way of relating to others. Ask God to help you change so that he can speak into the areas of your life that are in need of a shake up.

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