“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
Prayer is not intended to be a means of changing God’s mind or attitude towards you. When you pray with a sole aim of seeking to coax, persuade, impress, or compel God to change His mind or attitude towards you, you are simply praying amiss.
Seeking to impress or compel God to do anything for you by means of prayer is a complete departure or deviation from grace to works; it is simply a shift of faith from the finished work of Jesus to your own imperfect religious works.
The Lord Jesus has abolished once and for all the enmity between God and sinful men by His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. (NKJV).
On the cross the Lord Jesus bore our sins in His own body, and through His shed blood the Lord Jesus had wiped out “the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col. 2:14 NKJV).
As a result of the perfect and finished work of reconciliation of Jesus, God’s mind and attitude is forever changed towards us. God is no longer mad or angry with any sinners, for God’s anger against sinners has been appeased by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Our prayers or any other religious works cannot win or earn God’s love, acceptance, approval, favour or blessings for us. Nothing pleases God as faith in the person and finished work of Jesus alone. When you trust completely in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, you are completely pleasing or accepted to God (Eph. 1:6).
God loves the born-again believers in Christ just as He loves His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 17:23). God sees the born-again believers in Christ (as holy, righteous, blameless, and above reproach) just as He sees Jesus Christ; “because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17 NKJV).
Therefore, it is simply a sheer ignorance or unbelief for any born-again believer to employ prayer as a means of seeking to change God’s mind in his favour.
As a believer in Christ, you have found great favour in God’s sight by trusting in the Saviour He sent into the world, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1-2).
Prayer is not intended to be “an almighty formula” for solving all life’s problems. Neither is it intended to be a means of getting quick fixes when in a dire emergency. Rather, prayer is supposed to be a loving and intimate fellowship or communion with our loving heavenly Father.
Therefore, above anything else, when we pray, our focus should primarily be on enjoying an intimate and loving fellowship or communion with our loving Heavenly Father. Everything else is secondary!
Sadly, many believers today are completely ignorant of the primary purpose of prayer. In our days, prayers have been reduced to petitioning God and wrestling with the devil. How sad! The purpose of prayer is infinitely greater than these – petitioning God and binding demons.
God created us in His own image for the purpose of having a loving and intimate relationship, fellowship or communion with Him. Prayer is a means of accomplishing this purpose.
When you mainly regard the time of prayer as a time to ask and receive things from God or just as a time to fight with the devil, your prayer will bring no transformation into your life. This is why many believers are not being changed progressively into Christlikeness in spite of much praying.
But, when you rightly regard the time of prayer as principally a time of enjoying intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, your primary focus will be on God and not just on the things you want to ask or receive from God, and not on the devil you want to fight or bind.
Being preoccupied with God’s love, glory, beauty, splendour, wisdom, power, goodness and faithfulness in your time of prayer will undoubtedly transform you into the image of Christ, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).
Jesus’ moment of transfiguration happened not while He was preaching but while He was enjoying intimacy with His Father.
28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah,
31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.
33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” –not knowing what he said.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.
35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (NKJV).
The place of prayer is therefore the place of transformation. The time of prayer is a moment of transformation. The Spirit of God will transform you increasingly into the image of Christ in your mind, thoughts, emotions and actions as you focus and meditate increasingly on the glory of Christ while praying.
Beloved, the Lord Jesus is calling you today to begin to see your time of prayer not principally as a time to change God’s mind towards you or to change your situation, but rather as a time to enjoy intimacy with your heavenly Father and thus be changed more into Christlikeness.
Therefore, while praying stop focusing primarily on your needs, challenges, or battles, but on the love, glory, faithfulness and goodness of God.
Focusing primarily on yourself (your needs, challenges, or situations) in your time of prayer will not transform or change you. It is focusing, contemplating, musing or meditating on God’s love, glory, power, wisdom, nature, or character that will transform your life.
2 Corinthians 3:
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NIV).
Therefore, don’t reduce your time of prayer to only a time of petitioning God for some things or to a time of wrestling with the devil. Rather, begin to spend most of your time in prayer to enjoy God’s presence and to contemplate His love, glory and goodness. You will be amazed at the transformation into Christlikeness you will experience in your life.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing to me today the primary purpose of prayer. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to spend most of my time in prayer to focus and meditate on God’s love, glory, faithfulness and goodness, in Jesus’ name. Amen.