What Are You Praying for?

I didn’t always believe in God, but rest assured as soon as I did I started praying – and praying and praying. But I confess that I spent quite a few years waving my magic wand and praying for what I wanted when I wanted it – much of the time for myself. I wanted God to make something happen to make me feel better, for provision to fall down from heaven so I could be more comfortable, things to turn out the way I wanted so I would be happy, etc. Even my prayers for others were oftentimes about me. I wanted someone to love me, someone to change to treat me better, someone to come back into my life to make me happy, someone to repent so that person would fulfill my plan for that person’s plan, someone to get healed so I wouldn’t lose the person, someone to be a committed follower of Christ so I would get what I wanted from that person, etc. Times have changed; my heart has changed. And so have my prayers. What are you praying for?

I don’t have a television, but when I see the news online I find myself praying for people across the world. I drive down the road and pray for strangers. I meet people in stores and pray for them. I pray for the loved ones of others I will likely never meet. I pray for people I confess I have hated until God led me to repentance. I pray for my enemies. I pray for children being abused. Animals being neglected. Government no matter what I think of the government. For criminals. For people taking advantage of the system. For people who believe totally differently than I do. And so much more. For I pray often. Very often. For I am constantly seeking the Lord, continually digging into study of His Word, and relentlessly pursuing Him and His will for my life. And I have never felt freer and more blessed in my prayer life – let alone in my life as a whole.

Do I still pray for myself? Yes. But even those prayers have changed. I pray for provision to enable me to pursue my life’s calling in ministry. I pray for resources to help others. I pray for strength to serve God. I pray for good health not just so I feel well, but so I am best able to pursue the Lord and the work to which He has called me sharing the Gospel and ministering His love to a world in need. I pray for loved ones because I want them to know and follow the Lord – unlike when I used to pray for them so I could live “happily ever after” knowing they were well. I pray God would change people not so I can get what I want from them, but so they can honor and love and adore and worship and serve the Lord which we are all called to do.

I pray according to the Bible, praying for God’s will for this world as I learn His will in His Word. And I pray for the world, for the entire world and for individual nations, and for individuals in the nations, and for individual groups like caregivers and the elderly and children being hurt and the homeless, and for individuals near and far, right down to my neighbors, and right down to my very house and the dogs in it and that I would hear and obey the Lord!

I used to live my life for me. Now I live my life for the Lord. My prayers were all about me. Now my prayers are for the Lord. For I love nothing more than Him in the entire universe, and want nothing more in the world than to see the world saved through repentance of the sins of humanity and faith placed in Jesus Christ with lives committed to turning away from sin and living unto Him. My Lord, my God, my King, Creator of the universe.

Do I still pray selfish prayers sometimes? Sadly, yes. For I fall short of the glory of the Lord every breath that I take, but I aim as best I possibly can in the direction that I know is right. My aim is to love and serve and please and bring glory to the Lord in all that I do – right down to my very heart and prayers.

What are you praying for? I hope what I have shared with you might inspire you to look at your prayer life and to see if any changes are in order. If not, carry on my friend. This world is in dire need of the Lord. And not only do we need laborers to go out into the harvest, but we need people praying continually for the will of the Lord on earth as His will is in heaven. 

1Ti 2:8  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 

1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing. 

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