Transformation is a change so deep and formative that what it brings is literally all new.
New is God’s best work. He uses His unlimited resources and all knowledge to produce an outcome or share a perspective that is so different from what we thought, we call it new.
When I talk about the kind of prayer that accomplishes this, I use this definition:
Transformational prayer opens a connection with God so that He can inform me about what I think, want, need or plan to do.
Here are four prayers that bring this transformation. They are not formulas for quick answers. They are the raw material I give God so that He can do His new in me, no matter what I’m praying about.
1. Pray with submission. Not what I will, but what you will. Mark 14:36, NIV
Jesus is our model here. In Gethsemane, he prayed to fulfill God’s will without going through pain and death. However, he didn’t end his prayer waiting for his Father to do what he asked for. He ended His prayer with submission. He allowed what he wanted to be changed so that what God wanted would be done in him.
No matter what we ask of God, there is no better model to follow than this.
2. Pray with persistence. Always pray and never give up. Luke 18:1, NLT
Jesus taught his disciples not to give up on their prayers. Not because God must be coerced over time. Persistent prayer gives God time to refine our prayers and align them with what God is already working to bring about. With persistence, we have eyes to see what God is doing.
If God isn’t answering the way we expected, keep praying. Maybe He’s working on something different.
3. Pray with faith. I have prayed for you . . . that your faith will not fail. Luke 22:32
Faith is not wishing God will do something. Faith finds its anchor in God who always does everything best. If we don’t see God working, maybe we have more faith in what we’re praying rather than in what God is doing. True faith settles us when we must wait for answers or endure hard circumstances. True faith reminds us that what we see or feel is not all that is happening.
When nothing else is working, connect with Jesus’ prayer for a God-anchored faith.
4. Pray for discernment. Pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Ephesians 1:18
Paul’s great prayer asking that his Ephesian family develop clear vision from spiritual eyes is the anchor for this way to pray. Holding on to what I see or think is my undoing. Praying for discernment is asking that I will have clear vision from God’s perspective, not mine.
Without discernment, we hold on to prayers that do not change us.
When I pray these prayers, I find them filled with transformation. I never end up where I started. Something changes in me. It’s that change God uses to bring the answer He knows will make something new in me or around me. It may not be the answer, but it starts the work in me so that I am ready for God’s answer.
What are you praying for now? Which of these prayer perspectives do you need so that God can show you what He is doing?
A change that God designs and empowers is transformational. Don’t miss what He is already working on!