Wanting Differently

Author: Ron Vanderwell

I ask for a lot of things when I pray. In fact, sometimes it can seem like that’s all I do when I pray: ask for help with things, or maybe grunt in despair when I start to feel weary or discouraged. I find that that sort of prayer can feel pretty natural to me.

Here at New Life Church we’ve been spending time thinking about prayer lately through a series of messages on the Lord’s Prayer. At times Jesus seems to urge us to approach God the way a child might approach a shopping mall Santa: “I want this…and I also want that…and here’s something else I’d like…” (check out Mt. 7:7-11). Yet at other times Jesus seems to be warning us to dial it down a bit. He starts the Lord’s Prayer, for example, by making sure that we begin by asking that God’s will be done before we start getting all excited about whatever kind of daily bread we need that day.

The more I struggle with this, the more I begin to wonder if my asking is really the most important thing in my prayer. For instance, what if God just wanted me to spend time with him, and he was allow me to experience needs so that I would look up from my scurrying around long enough to remember that He exists. In fact, what if my prayers were more about Him changing me than me getting Him to provide everything on my wish lists? If that were really true, I think I’d pray differently.

We’re going to be thinking about that this weekend here at New Life.

How about you—have you ever found that God changed you as you were busy asking God to change something else?