When I was a little girl, all the things I dreamt for my future seemed very exciting, let me tell you, I was a big dreamer. Someone must have told me I could do or be anything, and I believed it. I had a nice list. Basically it amounted to being beautiful, being well-off (having made a fortune), and people would know me.
I smile as I remember the girl I once was. I wonder if God does too? The only thing those kinds of prayers had going for them was that my little heart was honest and sincere. Surely, these were the good things in life and God was going to grant me every last one of them, right? I’m in my 30s now and I’ve learned that happiness is not what I once thought it was.
Beauty fades, fame is fleeting and fickle, and fortune can be slippery.
We think we know what we want in life, we think we know what will make us happy, but do we really? If and when we take the time to pray, what are we praying for? Most likely, it’s for the things we think would make us happy, like money, or we want to be the best at whatever we do. We want to be noticed (and not for falling down!). We want to be liked. Not exactly terrible things. But sometimes what we pray for is not what God wants for us. 1 John 5:14 says, “We are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anthing that pleases Him.”
When my priorities changed, my prayers changed.
My personal agenda changed as I grew up and traveled the world. To see people who own literally nothing make do with a smile on their face, to meet people who would do anything to live as I do, to see them struggle for basic needs–like a meal that week for their child–it changed how I pray. It changed what I pray for. Happiness is not always in the beautiful things, not always in the things we buy for ourselves, it’s not in how many people like us.
My prayers these days are that when I’ve breathed my last, I will have loved the people in my life well. What are your prayers today?