Praying Prayers That Work

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7

Our Savior prayed like no one else. And His disciples noticed, so they asked Him to teach them how to pray.

This is where the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 comes from. A prayer that begins with a declaration of who God is:

“Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name!” (9).

You are sacred, holy, sovereign, omniscient, all-powerful. And, by comparison, who am I?

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done” (10).

This simple acknowledgement is the key that turns the lock on our prayers. It is here where the shift occurs. This understanding of dual kingdoms, and reprioritizing them, changes everything, and leads to the peace described by Paul in Philippians 4.

Jesus says that before we get to our will, we are to surrender to His. Before we go any further in our prayers, we are to confess that we are more committed to His kingdom than to our own.

Because we all have a kingdom. We all have a way we would like to see things occur. And we are free to ask for things to be done that way. But first we must get to a point where we are surrendered and committed to His kingdom, more so than our own.

The length of our prayers is determined by how long it takes us to get to this place, where we can say with all of our hearts, with all of our souls, with all of our strength, “THY WILL BE DONE, even if I hate it, even if I disagree with it, even if it costs me,” –and mean it.

The point of prayer is not to bend God’s will to ours, but to align our will with His.

Until we can get ourselves to that place, there is no point going any further in our prayers.

We are to stay there until we can submit.

BUT- that is a prayer works 100% of the time.

The purpose of prayer is to recalibrate your heart to be in synch with the heart of your Father.

This doesn’t make you small (you already are); this makes you significant.

But do you know what happens when you pray until you can say that sincerely?

You are rewarded. With peace. The peace described by Paul in the passage above:

“The peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Why? Because you’ve just declared and focused your mind’s and your heart’s eye on the largeness and splendor and enormity and power and majesty of our great God –

You’ve just declared to Him your trust in Him, that even though you think you know what you want, even though you think you know what is best, that you are choosing to trust Him, to align your will with His, and to stay on your knees until you can say THY WILL BE DONE and mean it,

You can leave it in Abba’s hands, because this great God is your dad. So you can “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He’s your dad- of course you can trust Him. And He’s all powerful, so of course He can handle it.

The only response to this kind of realization is peace.

Lord, may it be so. Amen.

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