Bart Millard from MercyMe shared a testimony about how he feels about his son who has been a diabetic since he was 2 years old. His son is now a teenager. He said as they were leaving a doctors appointment, a woman he knows asked about his son and asked if she could pray for him that God would heal him of diabetes. To himself, Millard said something like, “Pray for a healing for my son? What a novel idea. In 13 years, praying for healing has never crossed my mind!”
When I occasionally reflect on the true purpose for prayer, I nearly always come to the conclusion that it is to change me and my outlook. This in spite of the default attitude of prayer in our society, which is “to get God to do what I want”. Oswald Chambers writes,
“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.”
So pray. Pray for healing. Pray for loved ones. Pray for employment. Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom. Pray without ceasing. But do not judge the effectiveness of your prayers based on whether God does what you ask. Unless what you are asking is for God to change you.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
Thanks for these post Scott. I really enjoy them and you do a great job.