When it comes to prayer, are you searching for a secret formula or special technique that will cause God to give you what you want?
Maybe you've read book after book that promised to reveal some hidden spiritual directions. No doubt you were always disappointed, because the most powerful prayers don't work that way.
If you want to discover the prayer God always answers, go no further than the Lord's Prayer, spoken by Jesus of Nazareth. One phrase holds the secret:
". . . Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. "
It's not about our will or our way. It's about God's will.
That’s the part we don’t like. We want to get our way, and we want to get it right now. We act like spoiled children throwing a tantrum. If God doesn’t immediately give in, we get angry at him and accuse him of being indifferent, cruel, or powerless.
Expecting God to give us exactly what we want every time we pray shows how self-centered we've all become. It also ignores one of life’s great spiritual truths: God is in charge, not us.
What’s the use of praying then?
Many people don’t trust God to do what’s best for them. They don’t have enough faith in his omniscience, power and love to believe he has their best interests at heart. If they can’t get their own way, they’d rather not pray at all.
But all we have to do is look back on the bad decisions and self-inflicted catastrophes in our lives to realize we don’t always know what’s best for ourselves. And yet, we continue to think we have the right solution. That attitude switches roles, trying to turn ourselves into God and God into our servant.
In fact, you may even feel cheated by this article because it doesn’t reveal a way to manipulate God. You’d rather donate “seed” money or go through some ritual to make God obligated to you.
The truth we don’t like
Powerful prayer is not a matter of technique or eloquence. It’s a matter of attitude. The attitude God requires is submissiveness.
Most of us are so used to being independent and self-reliant that the idea of submissiveness is repulsive to us. We see it as a sign of weakness.
Ironically, admitting our weakness and being submissive to God puts us in alignment with the greatest power in the universe. That’s what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “For when I am weak, then I am strong. "
In those times when God’s desire for us is the same as our desire, we get exactly what we ask for, and we’re happy with those answers to our prayers.
The real test comes when we’re able to accept whatever God gives us, even when it’s not what we want. By submitting our will to his in those circumstances, we practice the kind of obedience he honors. That’s when we have truly learned how to pray.
Jack Zavada helps people live happier, more fulfilling lives through his web site, http://www.inspiration-for-singles.com.