“Prayer is a golden chain that reaches from heaven to earth, and although we think to move God to us, yet we move ourselves to Him. As the ship which is fastened with the cable does not bring the haven to it, but itself to the haven, so the change that prayer makes is not in God, but in ourselves”
— Anthony Burgess
Have you ever been frustrated with your prayer life? You ask and ask, and yet you feel like God is not listening? Or maybe you feel like you’re having a one-way conversation with God? Maybe you’ve been disappointed with God for not hearing your prayers, or upset that things are not turning out the way you want. Is there something wrong with how you’re praying? Is God not listening to you for a reason? I think we have all felt this way at some point in our lives. Saddened by our unanswered prayers, we begin to doubt God’s goodness and power, and forget to realize the problem with our prayers is us, not God.
I saw the above quote on a friend’s Facebook page, and found it fitting for this post. The purpose of prayer is not for God to make us happy or please us, but for Him to change our hearts/perspective. When I was in college, our Bible study held an event called, “The Backyard Bash.” It was a campus event, held outdoors, for people to showcase their talents. The day of the event, the weather forecast did not look good, and we did not have a back up venue to hold the event. We were getting texts from friends who were on the other side of town saying the weather was bad and we should consider shutting everything down. About 10 minutes before we began we felt a couple of rain drops and saw black clouds coming our way. Performers were starting to worry, so someone suggested that we pray. A few of us dropped everything and in the middle of the courtyard, got into a circle and prayed for clear weather. We prayed that God’s name would be praised and that the event would carry on. We did not want to lose out on our opportunity to reach out and share the gospel with our campus, and neither did God. The rain stopped! When we looked up, there were black clouds surrounding us, but we never felt a drop of rain. God’s name was praised and unbelievers were in shock that there was no rain! God used something as simple as rain to bring glory to Himself. In that moment, I felt scared and worried and even though I prayed, I lacked full faith. For me, that answered prayer drew me closer to God.
Scripture reminds us to, “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Our prayer to stop the rain was an act of faith. We took all of our worries and fears, laid them at the feet of Jesus, and entrusted them in His care. In that moment, even though some of us were doubtful, God answered our prayers and revealed to everyone how powerful prayer really is.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
John 14: 12-14
When you are in sync with who Jesus is and what He is doing on this Earth, you better believe that whatever you ask in His name WILL be given to you! The more time we spend in His presence, the more we understand His calling in our lives. He has placed us on this earth as HIS representatives, and when we ask in HIS name, it will be given to us! How amazing is that?? It’s time we realize that prayer can change us and will draw us closer to Him.