Prayer Changes Us Not God

Dr. Myron J. Taylor wrote this article in his church newsletter some years ago. 

“One of my favorite stories on the subject of prayer concerns the veteran who had lost a leg in the war.  One day shortly after the close of World War II, he traveled to a little town in France which housed a shrine celebrated for miracles of healing. As the soldier neared the shrine, a passer-by remarked, “The poor man. Does he think that God will give him back his leg?” The young veteran overheard the remark and, turning, said quietly, “No, I do not expect God to give me back my leg.  I am going to pray to God to help me live without it.” 

I’ve seen and heard the serenity prayer but never knew the full context.  In  fact, I have the shorter version here before me on my desk.   Here is the whole prayer:   Prayer For Serenity

“God, grant me the serenity to acccept the things I cannot change,
and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is;
not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.”
                                                      Amen             Reinhold Niebuhr

Prayer has its laws:
1. Prayer is not God doing things for us. Prayer is God helping us to do things for ourselves. God is not the easy way out.
2. Prayer does not change circumstances.  It changes us, enabling us to have new courage, new strength and new ability to cope.
3. Prayer is not escape.  it is conquest.  It helps us face and overcome the situation.
4. Prayer is listening to see what God wants us to do.

Prayer changes us not God.  We do not change God’s mind.  We meet His conditions.  As someone has said, “It is not so much what happens to us that matters, but it is the attitude we take toward what happens to us that counts.”

Prayer must become a natural part of our life.
Prayer is an acknowledgement of utter dependence upon the One to whom we address our words.
Prayer is a dialogue between two persons who love each other.

My favorite poem concerning prayer:           “The Simplicity of Prayer”

“Prayer is so simple, It is like quietly opening the door
And slipping into the very presence of God;
There in the stillness to listen to His voice:
Perhaps to petition or only to listen.
It matters not; Just to be there in His presence
Is prayer.”                                                               Author Unknown

My favorite verse of Scripture on prayer:     I John 5:14

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

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