The Bible calls followers of Christ to pray. Yet it can feel like it’s so pointless at times. Why pray to a God that already knows your thoughts and your needs? If God knows your needs, why does he not just meet those needs? Why does he need you to pray to him? These are all great questions and Christians need to know that prayer changes things! The good news is that the best thing prayer does is change your own heart.
How Does Prayer Change Your Own Heart
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Prayer is powerful but often an uncomfortable thing to begin doing because it requires you to submit to a higher authority. Most people want to be their own God. It’s easy to think that you are in control of your destiny and that if you want to make something happen, you work hard and do that.
When you pray, you ask for something more powerful than you to help and guide you. For the Christian, our aim in life should be to glorify God. One of the best ways to do this is with many prayers because prayer shows that we understand where every good thing comes from.
It also connects back to our faith. Faith believes in the unseen. When we pray, we trust that God’s word is true and that he will bring his word down to this world again. What sucks is that it may not always happen in our lifetime, but that does not mean it will not happen.
All through the Old Testament, God’s people prayed and hoped for the Messiah that God promised. The Messiah did not come in their lifetimes, but the Messiah did come. Regardless of timing, prayer changes things.
Prayer Changes Things So Ask for Riches?
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Many people take the verse above, and they think it means that God is a genie-like in the Disney Classic Aladdin. If you want God to do something, he will do it as soon as we pray once and rub that genie.
In reality, God loves when we endure and when we are persistent. The text also commands us to seek him, and we do that through meditating on his word. The more we understand God’s word, the easier it is to understand what we should be asking for.
Asking for material wealth is a sign that we don’t understand the promises of God. When the Bible talks about riches, it is talking about the richness of the Glory of God. Being in the presence of God and getting to spend eternity with God is rich for a Christian. However, wealth on this earth will not last forever in the same way.
Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the LORD makes rich and he adds no sorrow with it.”
We all know that more money creates problems and sorrow in different ways. That does not mean it’s bad, but when God is talking about how The LORD makes RICH, he is talking about the kingdom of heaven. He makes us rich because we cannot do it on our own. We cannot buy our salvation, but we need the grace of God to be extended to us.
When you ask the Lord for things, ask him for things that he promised us. God promises us peace, love, joy, goodness, the Holy Spirit, eternal life, and many other gifts that all come through Jesus Christ.
Prayer Changes Things By Creating Utter Dependence and Hope in God
Psalm 17:6 – “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
What is your hope in?
Is your hope in your savings account?
Is your hope in your family or your job?
As a Christian, your hope should be in Jesus Christ first. Prayer changes things. After all, we are 100% dependant on God to come through for us because everything good flows from God.
When you trust in the Lord with all that you have and let go of your own ways, and understanding you quickly see that God is true to his promises. He helps to make your paths straight, and you cannot boast in anything that you do.
You can’t say that you have been successful because of your hard work, connections, or money. Instead, you recognize that God controls all, and things have gone well for you because he has allowed them to.
You also see that even if things don’t go well, your ultimate hope is in the return of Jesus. You think about Revelations 21 and 22 every day so that Jesus can return and wipe every tear and kill sin once and for all. The victory already belongs to Jesus.
When we don’t pray, it shows that we think we can do things without Jesus. Think about it for a second. When you do anything in your day, and you don’t first pray about it, it’s because you’re trusting in your own strength. You have done something before, so you figure you can do it again.
Praying in the morning is powerful because you start each day with the acknowledgment that you need Christ. You need Jesus to watch over you every step of your day. So pray for that each morning!. Why would you, as a sinner who makes mistakes all of the time, want the pressure of having to be in control? Why not hand that over to a good and faithful God who is sovereign.?
Prayer Forces Changes Things Because It Forces You to Boast in Christ
Ultimately if you are deep in prayer daily, you don’t get to take credit in your life. One of the biggest problems humans have is that we boast in ourselves and our own strength. We think that we have achieved because of our own might instead of the might of God.
Prayer humbles you, and it reminds you that you need God. When you think that you can trust in your brain to remember, pray for God because he can remember way better since he is the one who made your brain. All good things flow from the Lord, and you can praise God for that!
Boast in the finished work of Christ because without Jesus dying, you and I would be on the hook for our sins. The fact that God raised him three days later proved that he was God, and because Jesus beat death and beat sin, we get to beat those things as well when we believe in him. None of this is because of our work but because of the work of Jesus Christ. That is why we boast in Christ.