In my experience of life and prayer, I have found that as my prayer life grows, so does my expectation on what God can do. I find that as I intentionally pray, God enlarges my ability to dream God-sized dreams. Like matching the right size frame for a beautiful painting to be mounted on a wall, prayer exposes me to the purpose, pleasure and power of the Lord to match what He thinks and intends to do. Seeing that God’s desire is to work in and through people, prayer is the birthplace of the miraculous and revival. Prayer is where God and people align and bring about His will on earth (Matthew 6:10).
It seems to me that there is a principled parallel that the way I pray – my core values, view of God as a good Father, intimacy with His Spirit – affect how and what I pray.
As an example, I once needed a large sum of money to fix my vehicle. Not having enough money to fix this vehicle I began to pray and complain to the Lord. “God, you are supposed to be my provider,” I complained. I ended up reading Psalm 27, which is a Psalm written about worship in the middle of battle. As I read Psalm 27 I began to sense the heart of God and He instructed me to stop worrying about money and instead trust His nature to provide. What I didn’t realize is that my prayers for my vehicle had been formed from a place of worry and fear. Not faith. It was the mercy and wisdom of God to convict me and show me this. I repented and began to trust the Lord (even when it meant paying for the work on my vehicle). Slowly the worry and fear were replaced by worship and praise. Later that week, my wife and I received a gift that helped us pay for the vehicle repairs.
When fear and worry knock at the door of your life, it is tremendously beneficial to allow your prayers to be formed by faith in the truth of scripture. It is just like Jesus, who was moved by the Holy Spirit and stayed away from His sick friend Lazarus for two extra days saying, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) We are invited to pray and get ahold of how God sees a situation and act according to His will.
As you pray, allow scripture to inform your core values, your view of God and foster intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Youth for Christ International