Posted by: howvoicebegan | 06/05/2010

How Do You Pray?

“There is something I have been meaning to ask you for awhile now,” she started.
Not knowing where it was going, I let her continue.
“How do you pray?” she asked.
I was a little uncertain what she meant by this. Was she asking how to pray or how do I myself pray? So I asked her to clarify.

“I want to know how you pray,” she said. “You always get whatever you want, so I want to know how you pray.”

Even though she had now clarified, I still wasn’t sure how to respond to her. I was humbled by her observations of my life and curious what it was that she saw to make her believe that I got everything I wanted. I would imagine she was referencing particular things when she said I get what I want; there must be something she had seen and decided that she needed that experience, too.

But, you see, praying isn’t about getting what we want. Even though Psalm 37:4 says “he will give you the desires of your heart,” and Jesus said in Mathew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you,” it isn’t about creating a wish list and demanding it of God.
Prayer isn’t about requests; it is about learning His will and learning to see through His perspective. Psalm 34 also uses phrases like “trust in the Lord and do good,” “Delight yourself in the Lord,” “Commit your way to the Lord,” “Be still before the Lord.” These are all key components to praying in His way, not our way.

I wanted to tell this woman about the behind-the-scenes of my prayer life. Oh, if only she knew how much I actually “fought” with God, dragged my feet, or surrendered my own will! If she saw the “battles” that I had with God, she would quickly see that my prayer is not about getting what I want. Rather, it has been about my submission; my conversation with God being, “Ok, I don’t really want this, and You know it, Lord. But, Your will be done, not mine.” You know, even Jesus had to submit to God’s will. His physical, human nature would rather not bear the cross, as he asked God to “take this cup from me” in Luke 22:42. But, he followed it with a condition: “Not my will, but yours be done.”

Once I have surrendered to His will, things fall into place, and it looks like I have gotten my way, once again. Rather, it’s the contrary– He has gotten His way, once again.



  1. Leslie, dear one. What a wise young woman you are. God will use you greatly. I only wish I had understood prayer and God’s will as well as you do when I was your age.

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