Prayer is More Than Just Your Wish List

For me, prayer is the most beautiful kind of conversation that can exist – a supernatural dialogue that fills my heart, an expression of love and gratitude both in moments of happiness and fulfillment, as well as in moments of heartache and loss.

In this blog, I talk about something that frustrates me: how some people have the assumption that prayer is limited to us asking God for favors and his help. We all have our list of prayer requests, for ourselves and for others. I don’t want to imply that we shouldn’t bring those requests before God, but we need to understand that God is more than just our fairy godmother.

Recently, one of my friends on Facebook posted something along the lines of: “A relative of mine is in the hospital in critical condition. Please pray for my family if you’re into that stuff.”

Many thoughts went through my mind when I read “if you’re into that stuff.” But I understood that my friend is not a Christian, and that maybe, through her deep desperation and worry for the condition of her relative, she was willing to give the power of prayer an opportunity.

So despite my frustration, I logged off Facebook, put my cell phone away and prayed for my friend’s family member.

After praying, I felt the need to share my thoughts. As a Christian, I know that the power of prayer is enormous – that is why in times of tribulation, we turn to prayer to ask for a particular miracle or favor.

But prayer is about so much more than just our wish list, to pray is to enter into a communication with God. It is to converse with Him – while making sure we give Him a chance to respond. Unfortunately, and perhaps too often, this “conversation” is only about us. I’m sure we’ve all had one of those tedious, one-sided conversations with someone who pours their thoughts and shows zero interest in us. Everything is about them, their goals, their sorrows, their complaints. Sadly, prayer can often turn into something similar.

How would it make you feel if your friends never express their gratitude, love and respect towards you? How would it make you feel if the important people in your life only came to you when they want to talk about their needs and nothing more? How many times have we asked a friend to pray for us without really understanding what we are asking for? … Without really knowing what it takes to say a prayer.

I know that to venture into prayer can seem both simple and complex at the same time. Prayer requires attention, time, practice and FAITH. And those who know me well know that I ALWAYS am and always will be willing to pray for someone who needs it. And in the same way, I have asked friends to pray for me when I’m going through difficult times.

But today I challenge you to have a conversation of praise and gratitude with God. For all the many topics you might discuss with your best friend, you can have those same kinds of discussions in prayer with God. You can start with a simple, but honest two-minute prayer – focusing only on the things you are grateful for, the things that make you feel blessed.

Being grateful diminishes fear and anxiety. If we allow our minds to think and celebrate all the positive blessings we have thanks to God, then there is minimal space for negative thoughts in our hearts and minds.

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