It’s December and as we are approaching the end of 2017 my mind automatically does this stupid thing. Subconsciously I start evaluating this past year. Why? Because I’m extremely driven and like to set goals for the year. So, I go through each month of the year and try to remember what I felt like during this time. Was I focused on or distracted from God? Did I achieve or miss my goals? Was I content or stressed?
A common denominator that I found in that evaluation is that the months I was the most distracted from God, resulted in the least achievement, which led to increased stress and discontentment. Initially, I didn’t see it as a big surprise. Because I already knew that the amount of time I spend in prayer influences my life greatly. However, out of curiosity, I decided to study the power of prayer and discovered just how important and mighty it is.
Prayer improves focus
When we pray, our mind shifts to current challenges and situations in our lives. We run a list of things that bother or excite us and show it to God. A good prayer is specific and relevant, which triggers our brains to focus on the details of the situation. Therefore, when you pray for a goal you petition for the expected result and encourage yourself to achieve that objective. That’s when you start to avoid distractions and become more focused on your goals and dreams for your current season or life. And if you want to achieve even more focus, you can combine your prayer with a fast.
Prayer grants peace
One of my favorite reasons to pray is because of the feeling I have afterward – peace. When we pray we ask God to take ownership of our fears, worries, and problems. Like in real life once you return a crying baby to their mother, you feel better again. Suddenly the ‘problem’ you couldn’t solve on your own is in good hands. You are certain that the person you gave the baby to knows how to solve the problem easily. It’s the same with rendering our concerns to God in prayer. He lifts the burden off of us, we stop being stressed and we experience peace again.
Prayer distributes wisdom
Okay, I hope I don’t embarrass myself too much with this, so bear with me. Have you ever prayed out loud something you desired? Then suddenly you stopped mid-way because for the first time you actually listened to your request. And now it sounds ridiculous. Well, I have. And what I found in those moments is that God quickly used my prayer to show me his ways and tell me what the thinks about something. When we understand that prayer is not to make God change his mind about something, but to enable him to mold us through the holy spirit, we become more like Jesus, who after all had all the wisdom.
Prayer releases purpose
I know that ‘finding your purpose’ is one of the most annoying principles that we are taught in the Christian community. Why? Because it is this mysterious assignment that is extremely customized to each person on the planet, which means you can’t even copy it from someone else because it won’t work, but it feels like only a selected ‘holy’ few succeed in finding it. If that’s you, just as it used to be me then I have good and bad news for you. Yes, it’s extremely customized to each one of us and can’t be copied. But it is also very accessible, namely through prayer. The power of prayer is that you get to speak, petition, intercede, engage, contemplate and hear from God. Can you see how spending time with your creator gets you closer to your purpose? I mean imagine hanging out with Bill Gates all the time and talking about the first Windows PC he created. Don’t you think that at one point he would share with you why he created it? Of course! So, the way to receiving your purpose is by talking to God through prayer.
Prayer encourages gratitude
The beauty of prayer is that it emphasizes an attitude of thankfulness. No matter if we pray out of desperation or satisfaction, we acknowledge that there is a God in heaven that is greater than us. We understand that we owe him everything that we have, but also realize that he is the one that grants us everything that we desire. That‘s why after we pray we can’t help but be thankful to God for gifting us with a life that has highs and lows which are both opportunities that can be shaped.
How did you experience the power of prayer in your life before? What did your prayer life look like this year and how did it affect the achievement of your goals?
Love & Light