Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How Prayer Changes the One Who Prays

Prayer changes the one who prays,
Their prayer of faith holds them in suspension,
Above their troubling circumstance by Divine praise,
Prayer holds them safe within the Divine dimension.
Prayer changes things.
It changes us who pray.
Our faith grows by prayer.
Prayer: bold expression of faith.
BY PRAYER, God draws us out of ourselves. The Sovereign God takes our ability and will to communicate and uses those very things to connect us with himself. He draws us out. We cannot not be drawn. Everyone has the same identity – made in the image of God. We seek God implicitly, until, that is, we choose to give up on God – for a time, a season, a lifetime. Sometimes, people are so young when this happens; any room for God-enquiry – where God might draw them – is sucked out like a vacuum. They may never come to know God, for the Lord is known through prayer.
We ought to pray for those whose hearts are closed to God, for they will resist every goading temptation to throw up a prayer to the only One who may truly help when they need it.
But, now, those who pray are changed...
How God Changes Us Through Prayer by Direct Reward
For those who give themselves permission to pray there is a reward.
The reward has nothing to do with ‘God’s answer’, as if prayer’s sole purpose was as a vocalized wish list.
The reward is pure by agency of this: vocalizing anything has great power to reinforce belief. As we testify before God we attempt to communicate truth, and where we fail God lets us know. Prayer conforms us to the truth.
As we shout our prayers tearfully, we hear our own anguish, and we allow God’s mercy to wash over us.
As we bellow our praise, we hear how good God has been, and we are taken to even greater heights of experienced joy.
As we thank God from our sincerest being – a being that struggles to be sincere – we are benefitted by the fact we heard ourselves speak with integrity. We receive God’s confirmation.
As we implore God with our wish lists where we seek to be fulfilled, our Lord gives us the opportunity to reflect over our spoken words. God searches us in these matters and if the prayer doesn’t honor God, then God lets us know subtly.
If we are interceding for someone our hearts change toward them; we think and pray for them even more.
Prayer changes us. Prayer, in this way, is its own reward. But we must engage with God honestly, genuinely seeking him.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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