Hope. No matter what it takes.

WHAT DO YOU pray for? Health, prosperity, financial blessings? Peace on earth?

Jesus told us to ask for things in his name. This is what we do. But not everything you ask for comes true. So how does it work? Why do we even pray? 

The relationship between prayer and life isn’t mathematical. It’s cosmic.

You don’t always get exactly what you ask for. And God’s plan unfolds on his terms. But still, we pray. And we have faith that prayer makes a difference.

But if we don’t always get what we want, why do we persist? 

In the past, one of my biggest mistakes was thinking that with good conduct, God would give me what I want. I believed I could earn the right to have my prayers answered.

Some might ask: If I’m doing everything right, why doesn’t God answer my prayers?

Later, when they don’t get what they ask for, some might use this as an excuse to forget about God. Then they feel justified to do whatever they want. Maybe, deep down, that’s what they really wanted all along.

So in the end, God did answer. He lets them be free, even to ignore him.

My behavior does not give my prayer more impact. Instead, prayer impacts my behavior.

Yes, God hears our prayers. But there’s something deeper to be discovered. Prayer transforms you. Communion with the Lord gets you ready for things to come.

The essence of my prayer should focus on my relationship with my Creator, not worldly results. 

What happens then? When you seek his presence, you change. This occurs on a biological, emotional, and psychological level.

Your thoughts become more organized. And an orderly mind leads to an orderly life.

Your encounter with the divine aligns your heart with God’s will. This makes you solid and steady during times of crisis.

The Lord shows you where sin may be hiding, and where you need to give him more room to work. In the end, time spent in prayer is full of Spirit based blessings.

The things I pray for are usually far beyond my control. Also, I know I’m not exempt from any kind of event, be it a natural disaster, accident, illness, or loss. I don’t deserve any special treatment just because I pray.

Good, honest, holy people face tragedy every day. And God loves them dearly. Tough trials are part of human life, for the believer and non-believer alike.

Still, we know our prayers make a difference. Yes, it could be through signs and wonders. Or it might be an inner change. Either way, it’s full of meaning as God’s Spirit is there.

There is one special way you can ask for things in your prayers. And it will bless you tremendously.

It’s the place where you appeal to God’s goodness alone. You appeal to his mercy. Through no merit of yours, you ask him. Actually, you ask him knowing full well the depth of your failures.

So you don’t expect anything, there’s no negotiation. But in his presence your hope is fully alive.

Why? Because Jesus showed you the full goodness of God.

And that’s where you go to ask for life transformations. It’s where, on your own, you are profoundly limited.

Only God is the owner of grace. And his grace is all powerful.

So appeal to his goodness. Learn to depend on him no matter what it takes. Maybe you’ve already tried to convince, manipulate, coerce, or insist on having your way. But the heart never responds to those methods.

The human heart opens up to pure love. And a prayer of love purified in God’s presence can work miracles.

You discover you can remain faithful for months, years, decades even. You wait on the Lord, and you wait for the person you pray for.

And that person might even be you.

O beloved Lord, hear my prayer. I appeal to your goodness alone.

I have nothing to offer beyond my hope. I invoke your mercy.

In no way do I deserve any special treatment. In many ways, I have failed.

But please, O Lord. Change the heart. Clear the mind. Bring purity and health.

May the grace of Christ enter to breathe and bring new life everlasting.

In Jesus name,

Amen.   

. . . . . . .

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

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