Dear God… A Lesson in Prayer

How do you approach God when you pray? I think if we are honest we often view prayer as a way to get something out of God. We pray because we want an answer, direction, healing, or relationship fixed. None of those things are inherently bad; however what if prayer is more than getting what we think we need? Maybe God intended for prayer to be more than a platform to submit our requests.

Most of my life I have viewed prayer as a way to get from God what I thought I needed. I would approach prayer as trying to show God why I needed what I was asking for. Sometimes it was for something that was good, other times it was down right selfish requests. My prayer life looked more like a series of sales pitches rather than an authentic relationship. I see now that I was missing out. God intended for prayer to be so much more than what I realized. 

Prayer is more than presenting to God what we need or want. He already knows what we need before we ask. Prayer gives us the opportunity to open up to God what is going on in our hearts and let Him change us. It’s not sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for all we want. It’s more like a child opening up to their parent so they can get to the reason behind the want and help them grow. Prayer is powerful because it can changes us.

Most of us think if we pray enough we can get what we pray for. And when we don’t we naturally assume we didn’t pray the right words or just didn’t pray enough. But God intended prayer to be a connection point to grow our relationship with Him. Prayer is so much bigger than what we give it credit for.

If you look at Jesus’ life you see Him time and time again leaving everyone around Him to be alone and pray. Why? Because He knew that prayer was powerful. It was in those moments He was able to be open and vulnerable with His father. He was able to say what was on His heart. Those moments strengthened Him and made it possible for Him to carry out His mission. Jesus was modeling for us what prayer can do.

I’ve learned this more and more in the nomadic season my wife and I are in. I pray asking God for what I think is best for us or what we need. God has never stopped caring and providing for us, but He doesn’t always comes through the way I asked or thought He would. However what I have noticed is the more I pray the more I change. I’m more comfortable with God’s timing. I have more trust that He will provide in His way at His time. My prayers haven’t changed God; they opened up my heart so that He could change me.

If we are honest I think we like the Santa-like prayers because it puts us in control; it puts us in God’s seat. But that’s not where we are supposed to be. Prayer is more than that. Prayer grows our faith. Prayer lets God in. Prayer brings us peace. Prayer changes us.

Go pray. Give God your heart. Not some neat little prayer of what you think God wants to hear. Say what’s really on your heart. Be real, be authentic, be vulnerable. Open yourself up to the creator of the universe so that He can move in your life.

When we open ourselves up to God we get so much more than what we think we need. We get what only God can give us, what we truly need. Prayer changes us.

30 comments on “Dear God… A Lesson in Prayer

  1. This is a great post on prayer with a clear depth that ALL should really come to understand. THANKS


  2. Well said, Curtis. Too many people think of prayer as a magic incantation, when what God really wants is for us to keep in touch with him. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tattoomamaofthree

    Well worded. Prayer is a powerful tool. I am the daughter of a conservative Baptist pastor who grew up being taught the power of prayer but only actually ever saw the power of the Lord a hand full of times in the work. To many times mans wants got in the way. I would find myself as a child praying to understand and it wasn’t until I became adult and was able to break away from that religion and find the one that I belonged in that I actually saw the Lord start working and prayers answered. Prayer though is something that I struggle with in my daily life. But I know that I am just a piece of clay and the Lord is molding me into what it is HE wants me to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this post. It absolutely made me think of how I’m currently praying and how I can get better at it. I always feel guilty when I just sit there and ask God for things as though he is “Santa”… he deserves more from me as a warrior and that is what I intend to give him, more of me. God Bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great Post! I definitely struggle in prayer. I just don’t know what to say. I find the way I’m feeling unworthy to talk to him about. But I tell him about it anyway and often find myself praising and being filled with peace at the end of talking to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Being Woven

    Such a powerful post on prayer, Curtis. I have been desiring a heart so open to God that I almost do not have to speak words, even words that only my brain hears, but words from my heart that God hears and knows just what is on this heart of mine. Oh, to be so very open.
    Thank you for encouraging me this night.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A good article brother…

    God Bless You

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great reminder. This year has been a milestone in my life on learning how to pray. Like you said, I was missing out on all that God intended prayer to be.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was just thinking earlier today about the Luke passage in chapter 11, where Jesus says to “keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. And it occurred to me that as we do that, though we may not always receive what we are asking for, we’ll receive something better: A deeper relationship with him.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Very good, post! Prayer is a big deal. Prayer is communicating with our Father. It is a two way street. Prayer is just as much listening…as it is talking. God sent His Son to restore a broken relationship. Relationships thrive on good communication. Your last couple sentences are spot on. Be vulnerable and open. Be true. Be bold and confident in who you are in Christ. Then allow God in to supernaturally transform you in every way! In unity with the Holy Spirit, doing everything in love! CnE

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I prefer to write my prayers out, that is much easier for me!


  12. This was absolutely captivating. You have such a way with words! Thank you for sharing with us other Christ Followers/ Writers. Truly inspiring.


  13. Hi, I am spending some time reading followers today and came across this post. My prayer life is so important. If you haven’t read this post you may enjoy it. The last portion/posted is a Homily on prayer by St John Chrysostom. I was so happy to come across the reading. Have a blessed weekend, Laurie


  14. Anonymous

    Thank you for the follow today, I’m grateful to have found your blog here. I’m new to wordpress, and it’s so awesome to see bloggers taking the time to spread the joy and love of Jesus. Amazingly uplifting and down to earth blog. 🙂


  15. Pingback: 3 Things We Can Learn From The Lords Prayer – Rethink

  16. Pingback: 5 Things To Do When God Isn’t Answering Your Prayers – Rethink

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