by: Staci Stallings
We are, by nature, an outcome driven people. To win the game, we will spend hours practicing. To have a comfortable retirement, we will work and save for 65 years. To be successful, we will go to school, then to college, then get a job and work endless hours.
Outcome is what drives us. We want to see results. If the prize is big enough, we will drive ourselves half crazy to get it.
So it’s no wonder that many people’s prayer life is results oriented. We don’t pray to get closer to God, we pray to get things from God. We pray like this:
“God, if you will just let me get that car… or that job… or that husband… or these bills paid….”
Whatever is our immediate concern is what gets prayer. And there is always a “result” we are seeking.
Here’s the problem with that. It doesn’t work.
I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you that, but it doesn’t. You don’t pray for the result to get the thing so that you can relax, be at peace, and be happy. You are happy, at peace, and relaxed and the blessings show up.
So our final question is this:
Are your prayers too results oriented?
This is a hard one because it’s both how we’ve been taught and how we’re conditioned. It’s not bad to have some of your prayers be results oriented. I mean, if Grandma is sick, you should pray for her to get well again. God wants you to take your problems to Him. However, if that’s all you ever do, you’re misreading the kind of relationship God wants to have with you.
Do you spend time in prayer, for example, simply “being” in the presence of God? Listening for His voice to tell you that He loves you? Or do you rush through memorized prayers followed by a list of “how You could make my life better if You really cared” prayers and then get on with life?
If so, maybe it’s time to rethink the role of prayer in your life.
One of my favorite prayers growing up has this line: Thy will be done today…
THY WILL. Not mine. Not what I want, what You want. I want what You want, God. Do you? Do you really?
Or are you a little afraid of what He might put into your life if you give Him that much leeway?
If you find that your prayers are too results oriented, I challenge you today to take one minute and just BE with God. Just sit, and listen. See what comes up. Then do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next. As you do this, I believe you will start to see peace return and hope spring anew in your heart.
Want what God wants, give Him all of everything in your life. Otherwise, you will be so focused on getting what you want that you may miss completely the blessings He has in store for you.