And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your motive is wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.
James 4:3, NLT
“Drawing near to God is, in fact, the beginning of union!”
- Madame Jeanne Guyon, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ
Prayer Changes Us
Prayer is the most relevant thing we do.If we are to be free from our addictions, free from our compulsions and free from self tyranny, we will have to become people who pray consistently, without stopping. Prayer must become part of us much like eating or breathing, bathing and sleeping. The kind of prayer we need is a personal, open and ongoing interaction with God - the type of interaction that brings insight and understanding, helping us to resolve the catastrophes of our past and increase our hopefulness for the future. Ongoing prayer helps us know exactly who we are and what we should do at any moment in time. It builds integrity in us, making us well-balanced and whole. Prayer keeps us alert and ready to live well during any difficulty that may come our way.
Prayer helps us to work with God to build our future. It plays a huge role in determining what kind of people we will be and what kind of impact we will have on the world. It may be helpful to pray for others to change, but it is always more important to pray that we will change. Prayer changes us and as we are changed, the influence we have on our surroundings will change too. Prayer gives us new perspectives. It changes our priorities. Instead of praying for things we want or for things we need, we should pray that we will be increasingly motivated to bring ourselves closer to God.
If we pray for anything less than God Himself, we may go away disappointed, having learned just how idolatrous we still are. But when we pray seeking a closer walk with Him we will always find our deepest longings fulfilled, often before we know what our deepest longings really are.