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WHY You Pray Is Just as Important as WHAT You Pray

ways to pray

3 WAYS TO PRAY THE WHY WAY

You’ve taken their advice:

“Just pray about it.”

“It’s just talking to God.”

“Just start the conversation.”

So you do… And then you wait.

Is there something you are supposed to do after you say “amen?”

THE SHORT ANSWER IS… YES.  AND THE FIRST ANSWER IS TO “ALIGN WITH THE WHY.” BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, and when Jesus would model for them how to pray, he always included this one crucial phrase “Your will be done.”

These aren’t magic words, these are clarifying words.   These are words that say “God, I’m praying because you know best, so here’s my laundry list… I know you’ll give me what I think I can handle.”

This is why we pray – to align ourselves with what God is up to in the world.  And that is as important as what we pray.

HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO PRAY THE WHY WAY.
1 • FATHER, I TRUST YOUR WAYS ARE BEST. 

In other words, here’s all I’d like to see you do. But I will trust that you know what is best.  I wanted that car when I was 16, but I probably would have wrecked it.  I wanted that date with that one girl when I was 20. But that probably would have been a mess. I wanted my kids to never get their heart broken, but that has lead her straight to you.  Why do I pray? To tell you that I have my hopes and dreams, but I will trust your heart.

2 • LORD, GIVE ME YOUR HEART.

I have a deep seeded anger in my heart, a grudge, a resentment, God will you give me your heart for that person?  Rather than praying for them to get what they deserve, may I see them through your eyes?  Why do I pray? To see how God sees.

3 • GOD, ADVANCE YOUR KINGDOM.

Your kingdom come, your will be done is what Jesus prayed.  Even if that means your path leads to a cross.  Whatever it takes for more people to know that God loves them.  For more people to find forgiveness and hope. For more people to find and follow Jesus.  Whatever it takes God. Your kingdom first, before mine.

In the end, you may not get your “want”, but you’ll align yourself with God’s “why”.  And this always brings more peace than what we want.

This article originally appeared here.

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Rusty George is the Lead Pastor at Real Life Church in Southern California; a multi-site church with campuses in Canyon Country, Valencia and a large online community. Under Rusty’s lead, Real Life has become one of the fastest growing churches in America–growing by 111% in 2011 alone.