Purpose of the Promise
God gives us magnificent promises for prayer—“whatever you wish” (John 15:7); “whatever you ask for” (Mark 11:24)—and most of us have tried to rely on them. But we have a pretty narrow definition of “whatever,” applying it to things we want, need, and think should happen. When he doesn’t answer the way we expect, we grow disillusioned and assume we asked too much. Perhaps the truth is altogether different. Perhaps we asked too little.
God does answer prayers for our personal needs and wants, of course. We’ve all experienced that blessing. But his greater goal in giving us prayer is that we would seek not to be receivers of his blessings but to be influencers in his world. He wants us to pray for opportunities to express his heartbeat, to show his face, to extend his kingdom. He wants us to partner with him in a cosmic mission of restoration.
Make that the focus of your prayer, and you’ll find it much more satisfying. You can still ask for personal wants and needs—his purposes for you are comprehensive, reaching into every area of life—but neither start nor stop there. Start with big vision and a desire for influence, and end with walking it out. And prayer will become each day’s most rewarding conversation.
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