Do I have to?
The story is told of a man who prayed that God would make him physically stronger. Day after day he prayed, but God remained silent and remained weak. While walking on a path on day, he came across a boulder that blocked his way. Suddenly, God spoke, "Push the boulder."
"Do I really need to, Lord?"
Although he was hesitant at first, he obeyed and began to push. Evening came but the rock had not budged. He returned the following day and for hours, used the little strength he had to push against the massive rock. Still, he made no progress. The days turned to weeks and the weeks turn to months. Yet, the boulder had not moved an inch.
Angry and frustrated, the man yelled to God, "I asked you for strength and you mock me by telling me to push against this rock!" He fell to his knees and wept. "Why won't you answer me when I pray to you?"
Softly, the Lord spoke. "Look at your arms."
The man looked at his arms and was astonished. He put his hands to his chest and touched his back. He was amazed! During the months that he spent pushing against the boulder, muscles formed and his strength increased. He had been so preoccupied trying to move the rock that he failed to notice that God never meant for him to move the rock; the rock was meant to change him.
Have you ever wondered whether prayer is really necessary? Why pray if God already knows what you are going to say? Do you really need to pray?
Prayer is not always meant to change your situation, but it's always meant to change you. For example, if it's raining outside and someone hands you an umbrella, do you use the umbrella to try to get the rain to stop? Of course not. The umbrella is meant to keep you dry during the storm. When we pray, without realizing it we are strengthening our bond with God. Sometimes, like pushing against a boulder, it seems fruitless but our spiritual body is building muscles. When we pray in difficult times, that communion with God keeps us grounded so that the winds of trials don't blow us away. When we pray during good times, we are training our minds to find constant rest and pleasure in Christ.
There are times when it is better to ask God to change us before asking Him to change our circumstances.
To learn more about prayer, join the Highland Family for Prayer Meeting every Wednesday evening at 7 pm.
The great people of the earth today are the people who pray - people who take time to pray S.D. Gordon