Praying to God is an amazing blessing and honor. He answers prayer in a variety of ways. In addition to all that we gain from His generosity, sometimes the best answer to prayer is not gaining but losing, which is gain.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She’s a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
The Lord changed me in numerous ways when I accepted Christ at age 27. Most people probably wrote it off to maturity, but I knew that I was a brand-new person. It was wonderful to begin regularly praying to God and experiencing real change.
The Lord moved in and did a deep cleaning of my life. In addition to many changes, He renewed my mind and gave me wholesome thoughts. He gave me a new heart; replacing anger with love, compassion and concern for others. He helped me to discard all questionable reading material and He gave me a love for reading the Bible. I gained by losing negative habits and traits.
Countless lives, including mine, have been transformed by praying to God and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as I did. This is because Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, make it possible for us to be reconciled to God.
Through Christ we receive forgiveness and eternal life. This is the power of the Gospel!
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8 NIV)
When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by praying to God, they enter God’s kingdom and through a process of regeneration, become “born again” (John 3:7 NIV).
Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)
Christians are changed when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. We become new creations in Him.
Praying to God in Jesus Name is so wonderful. Through salvation and prayer, we gain so much, but sometimes the greatest answer to prayer is not gaining but losing, which is gain. We can lose anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and the fear of death.
Because God is in the business of transforming people and lives; we can lose negative traits, habits and fears.
Sometimes, praying to God results in immediate deliverance, sometimes the answer comes later, while at other times we wait on the Lord to grow our faith. But, God always answers prayer.
We are saved by grace and made new as God changes us, but, we our responsible for our own spiritual growth.
2 Philippians 2:12 says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
Spiritual growth is also known as the process of sanctification and understood as God working in us to conform us to the image of Christ. We cooperate with Him by yielding to the indwelling Holy Spirit.
I like this quote about praying to God and transformation:
God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. –Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
What have you gained and lost by praying to God?
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- Podcast: Will someone lose their salvation if they commit terrible sins?
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- Podcast: Have I committed the unpardonable sin?