Have you ever hid behind prayer? Have you ever used prayer like a magic lamp? Do your prayers tend to start with,
“God could you…”?
“God would you…”?
“God if only you…”?
“God I ask that…”?
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of prayer. And I believe that God moves on our behalf throughout our lives. I’ve personally experienced it! However, if I were to be completely honest, there are times when I can hide behind prayer.
Allow me to expand on that some. Let’s say there is a situation in someone’s life that I’ve noticed and feel that I need to pray for him. My prayer could easily go something like this… “God I know that you are completely aware of what’s going in ——’s life and I ask that you move mightly on his behalf. I ask that you help him feel Your presence in his life and provide him the strength he needs for what lies ahead.” Now, there’s nothing really wrong with that prayer and it’s a good prayer. But, it’s an easy prayer. It’s a prayer that costs me little.
While I was praying the other day, God nudged me while I was doing just this for someone. It wasn’t like He was getting on to me, it was like He was wanting me to pay closer attention to Him and what He wanted me to do. Did you catch that, “what He wanted me to do”?
I’ll admit that I can get caught up in asking God to intervene in situations that I forget that He may want me to be His intervention. He may have placed the burden on me to pray for this person because He wants me to reach out to him. I may be the answer to my own prayer. Now that may sound a little pompous but, don’t we all believe that God works through His people? Why can’t He work through you or me?
So now when I pray for someone, it can go a little something like this…”God what do you want to happen in ——’s life? How can this situation bring You glory, honor and praise? How can I be of assistance to You? What would you like for me to do?”
In this prayer, I switch from taking the role of telling God what to do; to asking Him what He wants to do and how I can play a role. I switch from being the one in charge to being the servant asking Who’s really in charge what He would like for me to do. I will say that I still ask for Him to intervene in the person’s life, but I’m more apt to ask Him what can I do for you in this situation than to tell Him what to do.
I hope this will challenge you the next time you’re praying for someone. Ask God how you can be used by Him to bring about His plan for that person’s life.
What are some ways you pray for others?