Is it possible that we actually cripple ourselves with our own prayers?
Now, just hear me out …
I am a veteran teacher in the public school classroom. I took my position very seriously. I knew God had placed me in the battle to represent Him to our nation’s children. I resolved in my very first year of teaching to spend time each morning praying for my students. I petitioned God for their attention, learning, and safety. I heard that if you are having trouble with a particular kid, you should bring that to God so I did. I would pray that ” little Johnny ” would have a good day, or that “Lucy” would learn to sit. After a few years, I came to the conclusion that this was a really bad idea. At least for me. I found myself focusing on what I had been praying about. I spent my day waiting on answers. My heightened sense of awareness was so keen that my bulls-eye for the day had been set. My radar was ON. I stood waiting to pounce if I felt my petition was not being honored.
My prayer actually became my stumbling block. (OK, Hold on here.)
It wasn’t that God couldn’t or wouldn’t respond, it is just that when I was so specific about what I called success, I missed all the other ways that HE was blessing. The ways that I didn’t even request. I needed that kid to just sit down so she could learn something, but I missed that part of the day where she finally got the math problem right standing over there. I was focused on one thing, yet God was doing something far greater. I was so caught up in my expectations that I began to limit what God was trying to do. (That’s a scary place to find yourself.)
One day, God had finally had enough of me and made it very clear it was time to change how I prayed. Instead of my grocery list of tasks each day I needed God to perform, I simply asked “God , show me your glory in this room today! Make it so very clear Your presence is here. Guide my words and my actions to honor YOU.”
It was AMAZING the change in me, and in result, my classroom. I began to be keenly aware of all I had been missing when I focused on my agenda. God was real and active, but I failed to see it because I demanded HE show HIMSELF in the way I wanted.
It was time to take the focus off my requests and put it on HIM.
What are you praying about? Is your prayer possibly your problem too?