Many of us partake in prayer, but have you ever experienced a sense of emptiness even after praying? Wondered why your prayer doesn’t seem to change your circumstances? Maybe you’re at a point of believing that prayer is useless. Before you give up on prayer, consider this: Are you praying the right way?
There’s been times in my own life when I found myself exactly at the same state of how I was before I prayed. It happened not too long ago, a friend had requested me a favor, and not just any favor, but a ridiculous favor.
Yet inside my heart, I knew God wanted me to help out my friend. Trying to get rid of my burdened heart, I decided to pray.
I prayed and asked God to help soften my heart, but inside my mind I couldn’t stop thinking of how ridiculous the favor was. I started telling God, “Isn’t this a crazy request? God, you know how much of a hassle this is going to be. How could you make me be obligated to do this?“
I then asked God for a miracle so I wouldn’t have to help my friend, and hoping God would change his mind about asking me to help.
After praying, did any change happen?
I was still bitter-hearted, and my friend still needed my help.
Feeling frustrated and angry, I went on social media and happened to stumble upon a post that said, “Prayer isn’t crucial because it changes God, but because it changes me.”
It was then when I realized why my prayer didn’t change me, and it was because I had the wrong motivation for praying. Instead of praying to change my own will, I prayed to change God’s will.
When you pray, is your motivation to change God or you? I came into prayer with the wrong motivation. Nothing inside me desired to even consider God’s request, and the point of my prayer was to change God’s mind instead of my own mind.
We must remember that prayer is a time to be one in mind with Christ. Instead of praying for things that you want, use the time to renew your mind and see from God’s perspective. Romans 12:2 says, “..be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The goal of your prayer should be to align yourself to God’s will, and not your own. The fact is, God’s will is the only will that is good and perfect for you, and prayer will help you find and act upon his will.
Prayer is not a time for God to connect with us, but for us to connect with God.
Once I realized this truth, I prayed again, and this time with the motivation to change me. I prayed so that God would help me see the situation as how he saw it – to change the way I originally saw the situation.
To my surprise, after praying I felt peaceful about helping my friend. God showed me that this was actually a good opportunity to pour God’s love into my friend’s life. From not having the slightest desire to help my friend, I became ever so eager to help.
Maybe you’re in a similar boat as me, wondering why the things you prayed for have not happened, or why you still feel bitterness and unforgiving against someone, or why you still don’t have peace in your heart. The solution is to see the situation as how God sees it. Take this as an opportunity to pray so that you would have the mind of Christ, because that is when peace will rest in your hearts.
Peace only comes when we set our minds above and come into unity with the mind of Christ. Trust in God’s will that he is always for you and not against you.
Prayer was never meant to change our circumstances, but to change how we see our circumstances through Christ. Our lives will never change, but it’s how we see life that changes our lives, and prayer is there to initiate that very change.
Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” We can’t rely on our own knowledge to determine what we should pray for, because God’s ways surpasses our own understanding. Instead of trying to bring God to our level, we should be trying to get up to his level.
We spend so much time telling God what he should do, but who are we to tell God what to do? It says in Corinthians 2:16, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” It’s not our job to tell God what to do, but it’s God job to tell us what to do.
Rely on the Holy Spirit and he will help guide you into what you should pray for and to unite your mind with Christ. The power of prayer comes when we are one in mind with Christ. So remember, pray the right way.