“Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” Exodus 32:32
Prayer is not designed to change God; it is designed to change us. Prayer is not calling God in to bless our activities. Rather, prayer takes us into God's presence, shows us His will, and prepares us to obey Him.
God will use your prayer times to soften your heart and change your focus. As you pray for others, the Holy Spirit will work in your heart so that you have the same compassion for them that God does (Rom. 8:26–27). If you do not love people as you should, pray for them. If you are not as active in God's service as you know He wants you to be, begin praying. You cannot be intimately exposed to God's heart and remain complacent. The time spent with God will change you and make you more like Christ.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Was reading all my devotionals this morning and these two parts of Blackaby's stood out. Was reminded of Genesis where Jacob 'the troublemaker' knew his brother Esau was coming...and it wasn't going to be a huge happy reunion.
Jacob was expecting bloodshed.
Jacob knew why. In the chapters earlier you can read about how both with family help and on his own he had wronged Esau. But those events lead to what had been prophesied. The older would serve the younger.
Jacob was in a bind. No family to lean on. He began to pray. Like you and I, many times we don't pray until we hit a wall we can't get around on our own.
Moses was shown what the people were like in his absence. But the experience of being with God had changed the heart of Moses to that not unlike God. As Blackaby points out Moses took on the attributes of God's will. In time Jesus would also lay down His life for all mankind not just the then tiny little nation of Israel.
We will be no different when we let God change us when we pray.
We have no trouble being just like those we see in the Bible. That's why no other examples of people are given in the Bible. Look at the people you read about and you will see yourself. Go ahead. Be honest with yourself and God.
You can be arrogant you can be angry while praying. You can be selfish while praying. You can be judgmental while praying.
We all can be praying with motives other that what would bring honor to God.
We live in a selfish not selfless society.
We spent thousands on ourselves yet gripe about helping others. We go around with symbols on our shirts to show the world who we idolize yet won't strike up a conversation with people about Jesus.
You see it. Yes it most definitely is idolatry.
Prayer changed me. Prayer exposed my idolatry in sports. I was ashamed. I won't deny it. It brought out my passion in the wrong ways. It brought out a judgemental side of me that I wasn't aware was there.
It showed me how much importance that I was putting on sports symbols over my thoughts of Jesus.
I got rid of all my sports shirts and hats. I would no longer carry around those bastions of idolatry. I wasn't aware until I did that it was closing doors of opportunity to talk to people. I was in my own way. Are you in your own way? Are you the reason you are not giving your best to the Master?
Prayer will change you if you let it. It's supposed to change you.
Ever notice how every single person who ever had an encounter with Jesus was never the same person again?
When was the last time you had an encounter with Jesus?
When was the last time you opened a prayer then shut up, just to be silent at the foot of Jesus?
When was the last time you set aside time to read in your Bible?
Likewise, I bet you can describe the last TV show or movie or sports event you just watched, with excitement no less.
When was the last time you took your Salvation in Christ seriously?
It's not about us changing Jesus. It's about Jesus changing us.
We are HIS workmanship. HE is NOT ours.
When was the last time you realized you were lying to yourself?
Nobody's aware that they are. But the truth is you have been and are. You have a sin nature. Sin twists and perverts your heart, your thoughts and actions. Sin says that you deserve, you have earned, you should have. You deserve to be happy so why not shower happiness on yourself. After all you deserve it.
We deserve a death sentence. Yet Jesus died in our place to give us life in Him.
So our lives are not our own.
So today, pray, but this time seek to be changed by Jesus in the exchange.
Fear will be there too. Fear of letting go. Fear of change. Fear of what's been normal to become something else. Fear will be there. Tell fear where to get off.
I face fear every single day. Change scares me. It can cause me to run or hold onto the hand of God tighter.
Pray that your eyes are opened when you are with God, in His Throne room, in His presence. That's what happens when you pray. Read the beginning of Isaiah. It brought dread upon Isaiah to realize where he was and he saw his own sinfulness. But Jesus took away his sin and his eyes were open, he was changed in that time of prayer.
Expect Jesus to change you too.