What Does Prayer Do?
What does prayer do? Why ask? What's the result? Is praying just asking and receiving what you ask for? These questions came to mind today.
True. "Asking is an expression of faith. It is opening my heart and mind to believe." To believe what? To believe and trust that He hears and will respond according to my best interest.
Once in a while I find myself feeling a sense of complete relief and satisfaction after I've prayed, even though I haven't seen the answer yet. Just knowing that I've come to God about it and that He's heard, somehow makes a big difference. God comes and makes Himself known. It's hard to explain but I'm just thankful for those experiences that He sends my way.
Real prayers are more than just making your wishes come true. It's about having real conversations with God about what's going on in your life, your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and yes, your needs and wants.
Why do you love spending time with loved ones or friends? Why do you talk with them about your day? about your problems, even if they can't help?
God longs for us to be that way with Him. Our spirit longs to be that way with God. In Him is our refreshment, joy, direction, and provision.
Conversing with Him and asking Him for things we need are much simpler. He knows our hearts. He knows our minds. He knows what's bugging us before we say the words. He knows our desires. He knows what we want most before we even express it. You won't ever have to worry about being misunderstood. And you don't have to fear that you may forget to say something important.
We can be direct. We can be extravagant with what we say. And, we can be as scarce with words as we want. God gets and understands it all the same.
So, what does prayer do? Why ask when God already knows everything? Why tell Him stories when He already knows them beforehand? Why ask when you know He knows what you need and will only give you what He deems best?
Will update this post with further thoughts.
Meanwhile, today is Day 8 of my reading on 'how to pray' by Pete Greig via bible.com.
Highlights from the book
- "Pray" from Middle English (to ask earnestly) and Latin, precari (to entreat).
- God asks us to pray because:
- the act of asking is relational in a way that mere wishing is not.
- it is vulnerable. To make a request is to admit to a need. It extends trust towards the person asked. This may be a very minor act of faith (for small things) or it can be very costly (for a medical cure) "Asking is an expression of faith, a way of opening our hearts to believe, and our hands to receive from another person."
- asking is intentional. It involves the activation of our wills.
- ? He comes where he is welcomed, and waits to answer until he is called. ?
- Petition helps us see answers to prayer in everyday areas of our lives. We see God's immediate responses even to a minor request. When you pray about the small things in life, you get to live with greater gratitude.
photo credit to stocksnap