Changed By Prayer

Text: Luke 9:29
And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. (NRSV)

As I read this text just now, it spoke to me outside of the context.  For those of you who know their scriptures, you will recognize this as the beginning of the “Transfiguration” text in Luke.  Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him up on a mountain to pray and while Jesus is praying, he is transfigured.  But as I was reading this it made me think of how praying seems to work for me.

I believe most people think of prayer as a way to make God aware of a situation, convince God to do something, or as a way to change God’s mind about something.  But I’m not so sure that is how prayer works.  I don’t think there is a time where your prayer will raise a new awareness about something that God is not currently aware of.  I am also not so sure that our prayer “convinces’ God to do something or changes God’s mind about something.

I will be the first to admit that prayer is still a mystery to me for the most part, but what I do know is that when I pray, I am often changed.  Not like Jesus in this text.  My clothes don’t become dazzling white, and I’m not visibly transfigured into some glorified image.  What happens is my emotions and thoughts are changed.  If I’m worried, prayer calms me.  If I’m angry, prayer sooths me.  If I’m frustrated, prayer stops me from feeling irritated about the issue.  I also find that prayer aligns my thoughts with God’s will and God’s way.  It is not the other way around where I am convincing God of something, God moves me into the direction of God’s thoughts about the issue.  God gives me a more heavenly minded perspective when I pray.

So, although I am not transfigured as Jesus is in this text when I pray, I am changed in all the right ways when I pray.  The next time you need an attitude adjustment or a better perspective about a situation, may I suggest that you go to God in prayer and allow God to transfigure you.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of transfiguration change me and move me when I come to you in prayer.  Open my eyes to your ways and calm my spirit as I feel your love move into me during our times together.  AMEN.

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