How We Pray Matters - Daniel Norris

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 10:5

Everything in life — whether good, bad or indifferent — can be used for Christ. Every thought should be centered around bringing you closer to Him. If you dwell on negative things, clearly these are not bringing you closer to Him, but you can take that thought and twist it in a way that’s positive. Take it captive. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the negativity; that’s just evil creeping in.

I once read a book about the prayer life of C.S. Lewis. I found that how we pray and the tone of our prayer makes a huge difference in our approach to Jesus. If we say prayers filled with longings or hope, but are not full of faith, these prayers are fruitless. It’s almost as if we treat prayer as a last-ditch effort for what we think should happen. But if we pray with faith, confident in our belief that God has the ability to do what we ask and He hears our prayers, they become powerful.

Many times guys will ask why prayers aren’t answered or why God says “no” to what we ask for. When things don’t go as we hope, it’s not always God saying “no,” He may just be saying “not yet.” You can assume God’s not answering your prayers, but the reality is you just don’t know how He’s answering your prayers. I can pray for a contract extension tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes and no contract is extended, I can’t say God didn’t answer me. Maybe I have to be patient and wait for God’s timing. Maybe I have to accept that God has a different plan for me.

Even if our prayers are for good things — things to be used for God’s glory — they may not be what’s best for us. In His Word, God promises us that everything He does is for “the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). We’re all still being molded and shaped for His purposes. Sometimes we have to explore other avenues or wait for God’s open door for us. 

Faith in Christ requires us to trust His timing and purpose for even greater things than we can imagine. So while our prayers should be carried out in faith and with confidence, our ultimate confidence is found in knowing His plan is perfect. 

— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher

Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here.

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