(Continuing on in the process of blogging my book Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life. I’ve been skipping through the chapter on Prayer, posting portions of it for you. I am convinced prayer is an important aspect of our lives, in both the good times and hard times of life. It is a lifelong learning process as well. I hope you will read on and come along with me on this journey of sharing my thoughts on prayer to encourage us as we go through the ups, and especially the downs, of life. Your feedback is valuable to me. Please leave your comments.)
Prayer is not about conjuring and magic. It is not about coercing God, or persuading Him to do something we ask. Prayer is about relationship with our heavenly Father (Matthew 6: 9), the Everlasting God. He is the God who is Lord and Master over all. He is Sovereign and has the last say, not us. And like the loving heavenly Father He is, He knows what He has planned for us and others, and what will be best for us in the greater scheme of things, because He does have a greater scheme of things. He acts out of who He is, for our good, and to accomplish His greater purposes. In prayer we seek His mind, that is, His will, for how to pray about things and people.
Oswald Chambers said, “Worship and intercession must go together, the one is impossible without the other. Intercession means we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Christ about the one for whom we pray. Too often instead of worshipping God, we construct statements as to how prayer works….We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to him as to what we wish Him to do. We do not worship God, nor do we seek the mind of Christ.”
Boy, that hit home with me. How often I have prayed that way, hurling my petitions at God, telling Him what I think is best, trying to convince Him to see things my way, mentally trying to work out the solution to the problem I’m asking God about. I wasn’t seeking the mind and will of God, I was trying to convince God of my will. Thankfully God hasn’t given up on me as a hopeless case! He has been patiently teaching me to pray over the years.
Prayer is about relationship, relationship with God. Prayer is not about demanding from God what we want, telling Him when and how to answer our prayers; it is about finding out what God wants to accomplish. What Chambers said about intercession (praying for others) holds true for prayer for ourselves. We must seek His mind, His purposes, as Christ did in the garden of Gethsemane.
 Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, (Grand Rapids: Discovery House Publishers, 1963), March 30 selection