I have always been told that prayer is a life changing practice, but the kind of prayer that I have experienced in my life could be described as anything but. I would not dare to judge or criticize those that pray in the way that discourages me because often I am accused of praying in the same manner. I also would not condemn the kind of prayer that I will describe because I believe that it has merit for a time and circumstance.
The kind of prayer that I am talking about, the one that does not transform, is the one that is a mere volley of requests . You know the one I am talking about, sometimes born out of pain, or despair, sometimes born out of mere egocentrism. Regardless of motive, it is the form that misses out on the intention of prayer. The form is intended to be a dialogue not a monologue (as I hope this blog will be if any followers find it). David’s prayers were filled with praises and descriptions of God, descriptions of the condition of his own heart, and also requests. Yet David at all points, as Jesus in the Garden, seemed to realize that this was about God’s will and not his own.
I believe that can transform our prayer more then anything, pouring ourselves out to God and then acknowledging his ultimate purposes are paramount. The more I pray in this way, the less I request things from God, whether well intentioned or not.