Changing my prayer life changed me.

I need to start with a disclaimer. I am not a bible scholar nor am I a theologian.  This change evolved because of circumstances in my life. It also started unintentionally and just kind of happened. Agree or disagree this is where I am at right now and I have noticed a dramatic growth.
 
A little over 4 months ago I stopped praying to receive anything material. New car, new house, new watch, bigger TV, more money – none of that. Oh, I’ll pray for your new house and for you to receive more money, but not for me to personally receive anything material.
 
For the last several years I have been actively involved in ministries that were focused on prosperity, and, even though I do believe God wants us to prosper, I have seen the collateral damage that results from always focusing on receiving instead of giving.

What I have noticed is that although people may have good intentions a giving heart cannot grow when a person is primarily praying to receive. Words about giving and helping others are said yet there is rarely any real follow-through. Since we are training our hearts and minds to be selfish giving to others only happens if there is no REAL sacrifice required.

The only things I ask to receive are help, strength, wisdom and courage!

Changes I have noticed:

  • I care more about others
  • I pray more for others
  • I am more aware of relationships
  • My needs are much simpler
  • I am happy with what I get because I don’t expect a thing
  • I am conscious about money yet money is no longer a priority
  • I feel closer to a REAL and loving God who will supply ALL of my needs
  • I have peace beyond comprehension

Try it. I dare you to go 30 days without praying for anything material.

Probably one of the best choices I have made.
 

 

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  • David

    Well sweet action! Couldn’t agree more. Because I’m pretty sure that God promises to bless you if you obey His commands not beg and plead for a new escalade while living in sin, and playing the “hater”, therefore it stands to reason that seeking these is rather redundant, pointless, selfish and perhaps even wrong… So, I’m with you! Ask God for wisdom and love and understanding, so you can better walk like Him on this thing we call earth. Buy lunch for a stranger talk to a lonely teenager, pray for your mom. haha! Jesus is awesome. Because a day, month, year from now what’s the real blessing a rolex or someone saying “hey that guy really cares about me”.

  • Here’s a deal…

    How ’bout I pray for your new house, hybrid car, and cute wife; and you pray for my increased financial portfolio, relocation to the Florida Keys, and big sailboat.

    Then we can keep our personal prayers focused outwardly.

  • Sarah

    EXCELLENT. EXCELLENT.

    This is the way it should be. When you focus on God and others instead of yourself, then you will see dramatic changes in your life. Not only does this result in incredible spritiual dividends as Mark identifies, but it is also a wonderful tonic for a wounded or depressed soul going thru a crises.

    Imagine what kind of church… or society we would have if every Christian did this. In fact, I believe if we pray this way, then we will find that solutions for all the issues which Christians grapple with on this blog… they will appear more quickly and they will be far easier to implement.

    If all the Democratic and Republican and Independent Christians were united in this kind of personal prayer life, we would see God heal this land… and His Church supernaturally.

    The only thing I would add to what Mark has said is that even before I ask to receive help, strength, wisdom and courage… I would spend time upfront praising and worshipping God. When Jesus modeled for us on how to pray (Lord’s prayer), we see that it is okay to ask that God meet our daily needs. But in that model, Jesus praised God first.

  • Rachael

    I’m one currently struggling in my prayer life and as a result, to ask God for help was like talking to myself, I was feeling like I didnt deserve to be heard and started to believe that God would not hear me in my current “detached from him” condition, which i know is not true, so i know satan the king of lies is already infiltrating my thoughts…so just randomly i typed in google “How to get a good christian prayer life” and here this site came up and this blog gives me a place to start…so just gotta say that if not anyone else, you surely helped me. Thank you and thank God for sending me here. Bless

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  • I recently read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. Your post reminds me so much of what she has written. I suspect that you have already read Anne Lamott. If not, I think her world view fits in very well with what you've just written.

    Your thoughts on prayer that focuses on giving reminds me of the saying “in the concrete world” as well: collaboration just makes the pie bigger. Giving always grows our worlds.

    Nice post – thanks for pointing to it on Twitter.

  • its good to be closer to God

  • Cherryl

    I truly believe that God , will take care of me ,, I give not to receive ….thanks ….