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Posts Tagged ‘C. S. Lewis’

C. S. Lewis said, of prayer, “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.”

If you read my blog post yesterday (Something is not Right) you might be wondering how my father’s surgery went. It went just great, thanks. And if you sent a note, or prayed for him, the surgeon, the medical staff, our family … thanks so very much.

As the hours minutes of his surgery crept by, my own understanding of prayer haunted me. I agree with C.S. Lewis. I too believe that prayer is not a means of changing God, but of changing me. And, although I hold firmly to that belief, praying for my dad’s surgery to go well (aka. to go as I want it to), while acknowledging that God’s bigger picture perspective might not mean a successful surgery, or repaired body, or … another day.

Then there was my disappointment yesterday when, after hours of asking God to enable me to pray for and with my dad on the phone (it is just not the sort of thing that we do), I called to discover that he had a houseful of people there. So, I called back later, only to discover that he was already sleeping (a four hour time difference often results in this). I had missed my chance, and felt so heavy with disappointment in myself.

But, here is where God answered my prayers, just not as I had ‘planned’ that He would. Apparently a business colleague who he has developed a friendship with, called him that day, and … prayed with and for him on the phone.

Prayer changes me, it does not change God.

How arrogant of me to think that I am the only one who could give that gift to my dad! How could I ever forget that, as much as I love my dad, God loves him far more?

If I do not believe that the purpose of prayer is to change me, where would I be? Would my prayer requests that go unanswered the way I wish mean that I did not pray enough? Or with enough faith? Or with the my heart in the right place? Or maybe someone else was praying ‘harder’ than me? Yikes!

God is not my sugar daddy, who lays all of my requests at my feet. He is my creator, my sustainer, my redeemer. And, He is my teacher, who teaches me to pray, and then to allow Him to be God, as I am changed in the process.

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.” C. S. Lewis Carole

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