Friends in High Places

Often we hear that “prayer changes things.” I have only one question. It deals not with what prayer changes, but whom.
Perhaps we are under the illusion that it is the role of prayer to change God’s mind. The astounding thing is that there are indeed times when frail flesh can change the intention of eternal Deity! Moses averted God’s anger against Israel (Exodus 32:11-14); Hezekiah bought extra time (Isaiah 38:1-8). These incidents remind us that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Talk about friends in high places, the child of God can go to the most powerful figure in existence, and be heard!
But the marvel of prayer lies not in our ability to change God, but in his ability to change us. When we pray, we admit that we need his help; we express humility and dependence with regard to the course of our lives; we throw ourselves on his mercy; we seek his wisdom, his strength, his love.
When we pray, the universe is reoriented. Our universe!
Prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind; it’s about changing ours! “God,” someone has said, “never alters the robe of righteousness to fit a man; he changes the man to fit the robe.” God seeks to mold us, change us, make us something wonderfully better. And the process begins when our posture changes from standing to kneeling.
“O house of Israel, can I not do to you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel” (Jeremiah 18:6).
Prayer won’t change things until we allow it to change us.

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