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On Learning to Pray as God Wants Me to

You know the saying about staying in your lane? I tend to think all the lanes are mine. I just want to do all the things for others even though I know I can’t physically do all the things. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t get in anyone’s business. I just genuinely want to help others. I understand that you can only offer help when it’s asked of you, a fact that is very hard to accept when you know you could give more. You just can’t give away some things unless you’re asked for them. That’s when a desire to help turns to meddling, and no one wants to be treated that way.

I’ve been thinking about prayer lately and my relationship with the Lord. I tend to pray for others more than any other kind of prayer I utter. I try to use my prayer life to fix the problems I see in the lives of those I care about. I so desperately want the best for them, a desire that pours out of my heart and into my prayers.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with praying for others. In fact, it’s the right thing to do. It’s the number one way we can help others even when it sometimes makes us feel like we aren’t helping at all because we so strongly want to physically do something. All the advice we can offer, the acts of service we can give away, pretty much everything we can do are all nothing compared to praying for someone.


I’m feeling more and more the push to spend time with the Lord for the sake of who He is. I’m drawn to reading my Bible to learn about Him. I’m yearning to listen to praise worship to reflect my love for Him back to Him.

My focus is shifting a bit.

I want Jesus for who He is.

Do I still want to pray for others? Yes. And I will continue to bring them before the Lord even though I know He knows so much more about their needs than I ever will.

Will I still serve others? Yes. But I am understanding more and more that the help I can give must come from a heart that has been with Jesus. Only then will veering into their lane feel like something other than an intrusion. In fact, spending time with Him will direct me so that I don’t intrude. I will pretty much be out of the decision-making process if I’m led by the Lord, something that can only happen if I spend time with Him.

I’m not in control, never have been. Have I spent time fretting, worrying, obsessing over how I can help someone? More time than I want to admit.

I’m so glad God is still working on me. I’m so glad He continues to show me, in such a gentle way, where to focus my attention.

I’ve read Matthew 6:33-“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” for decades. It’s starting to sink in. If I seek Him, I will have put things in the right order. Instead of spinning out of control trying to help others, He will show me how effortlessly it can be done, when done His way. I’m grateful for His promise to give me the desires of my heart.


Sandy Brannan, author of Becoming Invisible, So Much Stays Hidden, Masquerade, and Frozen in Time, teaches middle school and high school English. Sandy's idea of a perfect day is one spent creating memories with her grandchildren. This usually includes coloring and reading a lot of books. You can read more of Sandy's work on her blog at

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Helen

    Great story and something we should all take into our hearts! Prayers can change all when God is at the center!

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