Be Careful What You Pray For

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.  Soren Kierkegaard

I have always been a pray-er. My mother used to come sit on my bed when I was a child and listen to my nightly prayers. While I don’t remember this particular prayer, my mother loves to tell the story of my thanking God for milk and chocolate milk.

I believe whole-heartedly in the power of prayer. But as they say, be careful what you pray for. I kind of like the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayer,” except for the title. The man’s prayer wasn’t unanswered, the answer was “no, this person is not the one for you; there is another more perfect person waiting for you and you will find her later.”

Over the years God has not always answered my prayers in the way that I had hoped, but he answers them in a way that is so much better than I could have imagined. His answers are wiser than what my limited vision could see.  Sometimes I have had to wait for years for my prayers to be answered; but indeed they were answered, and the answers were just absolutely right.  Many times I have been able to say, “Oh, I understand why I had to wait, or lose something, or someone.”

You have heard the saying, no doubt, that ‘when God closes a door, He opens a window.’ Well, I’d like to say that when God closes a window, He opens a door. Or perhaps, He knocks down a wall.

And of course prayer is not just about asking for things for ourselves.  Prayer is for asking for the health, healing, safety, and welfare of our families, friends, loved ones, and for those we don’t know and will never meet……soldiers, victims of crime, people ravaged by storms, the downtrodden and less fortunate, orphans and widows.

The most important aspect of prayer is for thanksgiving.  God has given us so much and not to thank Him for our many blessings is to be the most ungrateful kind of children.  I thank God every day for so many things, and I’m sure I leave out many more that I take for granted.  I hope not, but I know I do.

If you are a pray-er, what do you thank God for?  Do you thank him for milk and chocolate milk?  Have you experienced a time when a window closed and God opened a door through the power of prayer?


I call on you, My God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.  Psalm 17:6


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