2 Reasons You May Want to Change the Way You Pray

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We would not talk to our closest friends or spouse the way that we pray. This attitude can forever change your approach to God.

There’s something powerful about relishing the enough-ness of where you are and what you have right now. It’s more than gratitude, although that is important. Some call it the abundance mindset, or the glass-half-full mentality. I call it trusting God to be enough.

Think about your prayers. How many of them are requests?

  • Please heal me of my sickness.
  • Please bring me the money that I need.
  • Please bring me a spouse.
  • Please fix my spouse so that we are happy together.
  • Please bring more people to my church.
  • Please give me more opportunities to expand my ministry.

It’s right to bring our requests to God; we are told to do that in Scripture. But if your relationship with God is based primarily on asking Him for things when you need or want help, you’ve made God into a heavenly vending machine: put in a prayer, get out a blessing.

How long would your relationship with your spouse or a good friend last if most of your conversations with them sounded like your prayers — you’re always asking for things and never listening?

If you’re a parent, you know what it means to want to give good gifts to your children. Jesus said our Heavenly Father feels that way about us (Matt. 7:11). But you also know that if your children are always focused on asking for — and receiving — things, they are not likely to mature into happy, productive, responsible adults.

Even If Not …

When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were facing death in the fiery furnace their response to Nebuchadnezzar was full of faith: “We believe God will deliver us! But even if He doesn’t, we will still worship only Him” (Dan. 3:16-18).

Job said the same thing: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15).

What if our prayers came from that same place of faith? What if we trusted God as a loving heavenly parent, and relished the things He has already done? What if we truly believed that He has already given us everything we need (2 Pet. 1:3)?

Our prayers might look more like this:

  • Yes, Lord, I want You to heal me. But Your presence right now is enough. You work out everything for my good.
  • I ask You for the material things I need to care for my family, Lord. But whatever I do have now or in the future I pledge to use with gratitude and good stewardship.
  • Lord, I want to get married. But even if I never find a spouse, Your presence is enough. I know You will fill my heart and life with meaning, fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • I believe You can heal my marriage, Lord. But even if my relationship with my spouse remains as troubled as it is now, I know You will be my lover, healer, protector and friend now and forever.
  • Lord, You’ve planted a dream for something big in my heart. But even if my ministry never grows any bigger than it is right now, I trust you to minister through me to the people You have placed within my sphere of influence.

That kind of mindset, that kind of prayer, changes everything!

When you see God that way, it changes your life now in these ways.

1.  You live with integrity now.

You’ll never take better care of your body once you get well if you don’t take care of your body right now even as you struggle with illness. You’ll never be faithful with lots of money if you don’t learn good stewardship with a little. You’ll never be happy married if you never learn to be happy single. You’ll never guard, protect and enjoy a healthy marriage if you don’t nurture and take responsibility for what you can do in a difficult marriage. You’ll never successfully handle a larger ministry if you can’t minister faithfully to the people God has placed within your care now.    

Where you are right now is your laboratory, the garden where God is growing the you He needs you to be in the future. If you cannot take responsibility for and do not take full advantage of every opportunity around you now, you’ll never be ready for something bigger or better.   

2.  You learn to work together with God.

There is no such thing as an overnight success.

Anything worth anything takes regular investment over a long period of time. That includes a healthy body, financial success, a happy marriage, a successful ministry or anything else. Completely embracing where you are right now and the gifts God has already blessed you with, and giving your whole energy to making the most of the present, is the only way you will ever have an opportunity for more.

Coming to the point of fully trusting that God has given you what you need right now allows a level of joy and success you cannot know any other way.

More Than Gratitude

This kind of mindset is more than showing half-hearted gratitude for what you have. You can force yourself to express thanks while still being greedy for more.

But this kind of enough mindset allows you to invest your whole self in the place God has you right now, holding nothing back, while still holding on to the dreams and desires He has placed within your heart. You are content in your soul, though still working to maximize what God has given you. It’s trusting God to truly be your enough.

Finally, bloom where you’re planted! And who knows — your fragrance may spread far beyond anything you could have imagined. That’s biblical too! See 2 Corinthians 2:15-16.

Question: Is there something you’ve been asking God for that you need to reframe into a prayer of trust? An enough mentality? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board certified OB-Gyn physician and an ordained Doctor of Ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life that Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com. 

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