Monday, February 27, 2012

Praying Transformative Prayers

By Charlotte Lowrie

If you feel that your prayers hit the ceiling and go no farther, consider what you're praying for and the spirit of your prayers. Too often our prayers are like pulling up to the divine drive-through to order up what needs to be fixed, added to, or subtracted from our lives. We pray for quick fixes to prop up temporary problems in our lives. We lose site of the larger context of our part in God's divine plan.

If you want your prayers to be transformative, then I suggest two things. First, pray from the heart. To pray from the heart, you have to know what's on your heart. Usually what's on your heart is a lot more than a list of what you want the Lord to fix in your life. So before you say, "Our Father in heaven," ask yourself what's on your heart right now. Then pray from that space--the heart space. It makes all the difference.

The second thing to transform your prayer is to pray in agreement with God's will. Many Christians pray wanting to persuade God to do their will rather than them doing His will. But when we pray to do his will in our lives, that's when prayers get divine power. I personally think of this as a parallel to Matthew 6:33, when Jesus said to, "first seek his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be be given to you as well." The parallel is that if I pray to do the will of God in my life, then I know that He will take care of the rest of my needs.

Jesus knew how to pray in agreement with God's will. As he faced the cross, Jesus could have prayed for an avenging army of angels, but instead he prayed that he would glorify the Father. And He prayed for His disciples and the believers who would build the church on the foundation He laid. Jesus could have asked for anything, but he prayed in agreement with the will of God. Our prayers will be transformed when we also pray in agreement with God's will.

What is God's will? His will is always that His kingdom be advanced. The work of the kingdom is our work as believers and as the church. Our work is living lives where we share the Lord Jesus with others, where we serve others as our Lord served, and where we do the work of the church. It is His will that we use the talents and gifts that He has generously blessed us with for His glory.

With your next prayer, first know what's in your heart, and hold that thought. Begin your prayer with praise and thanksgiving. And then ask, "Lord what can I do for You today?"