August 20, 2021

Prayer Changes Things

God has power to help or to overthrow.
2 Chronicles 25:8
We all know the saying, Prayer changes things. It makes a nice plaque for our wall at home... or even a great bumpersticker. There's truth in that saying, of course. But it's not technically correct. It's the truth behind prayer that's actually doing the work, for it's God who changes things. 
Think about it this way: If you're using your phone to order a pizza, do you imagine that it's your phone that's doing the work? Just as a phone is a tool we might use to get food from a pizzeria to our front door, so prayer is a tool that we use to communicate with the ultimate Power in the universe.
This is something to remember when we doubt our own ability to pray. God hears whatever words we speak (aloud or silently) and God knows what's in our hearts before we're able to speak. Certainly, the practice of prayer can help shape our hearts. But it is God who does the listening and the shaping. 

We should also remember that it is God—not prayer—who changes things when we begin to trust too much in the eloquence we might gain with practicing prayer, or depend on favorite prayers we know by rote. Even the Lord's Prayer itself is only as strong as the heart that prays it. So may we never forget that the power of prayer lies not in the prayer, but in the One to whom it's addressed.

Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
 Romans 8:34
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me, O God, to trust not in my eloquence or in a prayer I have memorized, but in your love and power.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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