I’ve prayed for many things throughout my life. I’ve prayed to receive protection. I’ve prayed to get jobs. I’ve prayed to get out of trouble. I’ve prayed for my favorite teams to win the big games. I’ve even prayed for good grades on exams I didn’t study for, let alone attend the classes.
I’ve prayed about all sorts of things, but there’s one thing that most of my prayers have had in common: they’re all about me. Whether they’re about a want or a need, my prayers have almost always been centered around trying to get something from God. In this way, I’ve often treated prayer as a transaction—I pray, and then I expect God to give me what I ask for in return, like a vending machine.
Requesting what we want and need is a part of prayer, but when we make it the only part of prayer, or the focal point of prayer, we miss out on what God wants to offer us through prayer. Prayer is an invitation to know God. He created us and knows our hearts, and he wants us to know him too.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
This is a very helpful reminder that we matter to God, he knows our hearts, and he cares about us. When we reflect on how amazing it is that the Creator of the Universe wants to know us personally, and wants us to personally know him, it can change the whole focal point of our prayers. It makes them all about knowing God more. And as we make knowing God the “Why?” behind our prayers, we begin to trust more that he will provide for all the needs we bring before him.
Why do you pray? What do you pray for?
Take a step to change your “Why?” and start your next prayer by praising God for who he is and expressing gratitude for what he has done. Starting our prayers with praise and gratitude helps us remember it is about knowing God, not just about making requests.
28 Days of Prayer:
Father, I come to you in prayer today thankful that I am your child. You have forgiven me and adopted me as your own. You have made me righteous and restored our relationship. I am so grateful that you are my Father. Thank you for loving me. I love you.
Dear God, nothing is too hard for you! Through your great power, all things are possible. All authority is yours, all might is yours, and I know that your victory will be complete. You are amazing, and I worship you. I praise you for your power and presence in my life. You are my God, and you are worthy of all praise.
God, I am in awe of you. Your name is a strong tower, a place of protection and safety for me. I praise you as my healer, my shepherd, and my hope. You
are my peace, my provider, my righteousness, and my joy. Your name is great, and I worship you.
This post was written by David Hammack, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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