End-Result Prayers

If you were to take one of my classes, we would spend a lot of time talking about objectives. Objectives (as hopefully my students can tell you) are anything at which you want to aim effort. They are what you want to achieve and they let you know whether you’re being successful or not. We spend a lot of time talking about the desired end result at the beginning of the process, because this is what will drive our business.

As important as the end results are, sometimes I realize that I don’t take the same approach in my relationship with God. For instance, several weeks ago I was running behind schedule on my way to school and was worried that I wouldn’t get a parking spot on the main campus. As I took my request to God, I prayed that He would help me get to school faster. While this certainly wasn’t a bad prayer, it wasn’t an accurate one. My heart’s desire was a parking spot. I hadn’t asked that because I thought that the only way to get it was for me to get to school earlier. In other words, I thought I would let God do part of the work, and I could figure out the rest.

Now this is a rather innocuous example, but I’m afraid the symptom is rampant in many Christians’ prayers. We pray for one thing, not believing that God can or will give us what we really desire to ask for. We pray that God will help us along the way, but not that God will bring us to where we should be.

May we have increasingly have an end-result attitude in our prayer life believing that just like a Dad desires good things for his kids, so God desires to lavish good things on us (Matthew 7:11). May we not fool ourselves into thinking that we need only His assistance, and not His constant and purposeful intervention into even the most routine aspects of life. And, regardless of what our temporal goals may be, may our true desired end result always be that which most glorifies Him.

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