The Prayer That Is Changing Me

There’s a book on my living room shelves called The Prayer that Changes Everything.

Author Stormie Omartian uses this attention-grabbing title to describe a type of prayer (praise). But the name always reminds me of one specific petition that changed everything in my own life—praying “not my will, but yours be done” during my years of infertility (see here and here for the rest of that story).

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the ongoing impact of another prayer, one I incorporated into my daily quiet time when I chose my word of the year for 2015. The word was fruit, and the plea was for the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) to grow in me and in the lives of everyone in my home (read more about this journey here, here and here).

I didn’t see results overnight, but gradually—as I asked God to cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in my heart—I began spotting little differences here and there.

It’s been more than two years, and I’m still praying for the fruit.

The changes are cumulative, I think, and also compounding. When I ask God to make me more gentle and kind, for example, I start noticing more opportunities to be gentle and kind.

I may not respond gently or kindly every time—in fact, I can state with certainty that I do not—but I’m much more aware of the impact these traits have in my life. There are moments and interactions that show me how far I’ve come, and others that reveal how much further I have to go.

I imagine that’s how it will be as long as I’m able to think, feel and speak.

Praying for the fruit of the Spirit every day is not a magic formula for spiritual growth. Something happens when you do it, though—some divinely inspired work that I think can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit.

That’s why I call it “The Prayer that is Changing Me.”

The actual words vary from day to day, depending on what’s going on in my life and in the lives of the people around me. But the prayer always goes something like this:

Dear Lord,

Help me to feel loved and to love others today.

Strengthen me with your joy.

Guard my heart with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Help me to be patient and kind.

Enable me to do good and to see good in everyone around me.

Help me to grow in my faith and to be faithful to do the work that you have given me to do today.

Let my actions and words be marked by gentleness.

And may I practice self control in every area of my life.

Amen

♥ Lois

When you pray for the fruit of the Spirit every day, the changes are cumulative and compounding. Click To Tweet

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community and Grace & Truth.



11 Responses to The Prayer That Is Changing Me

  1. Crystal says:

    Thank you for sharing and convicting me toward more specific prayer Louis. It is an ongoing transformation that often occurs so slightly, but the impact is huge!

  2. Amy Conrod says:

    Hi Lois, Prayer always changes us! So grateful our Lord is always interceding for us, when we don’t know what to pray. Grateful for the privilege and honor of prayer. Loved your prayer at the end of this blogpost. May the Lord bless you and encourage you as you write for Him!

  3. Lisa notes says:

    This is true: “The changes are cumulative, I think, and also compounding.” I often want the changes to be instantaneous, but that’s rarely how God works in my life. I definitely need the fruit of patience to take deep root. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this encouragement, Lois, to be grateful for the small changes along the way. They add up!

  4. These were my Mimi’s favorite verses and she lived them out. I want to as well!

  5. Lois- what a great prayer! I love your persistence in this prayer! Thanks for sharing.
    Visiting from #CoffeeforYourHeart

  6. Linda Stoll says:

    Thanks for taking us there this morning, Lois. The more the Spirit has free reign in the garden of our hearts, the larger and healthier and more vibrant that fruit.

    There’s still a couple that are waiting to be full blown and glorious in my life. Patience … where are you?

  7. I loved that book!
    Thanks for the great prayer! I’m printing it to pray for myself. 🙂
    Blessings, sister.

  8. Lydia says:

    That’s a wonderful prayer, Lois! Thanks for sharing it.

  9. This beautiful prayer is going into my prayer journal. Thank you.

  10. Hi Lois,
    How true it is when we pray for our lives to change in some way through our reactions or responses that the very things that pose difficulty for us to deal with are what God sends to sand away our rough edges — and of course, make us more like him! xo

  11. Such a lovely prayer, Lois. I appreciate the reminder that God’s changing us to bear the fruit of the Spirit is cumulative and compounding! Once upon a time I thought patience and other fruits were gained by striving, but I’ve been learning that we bear them by recieving from the true vine! And that starts with prayer. Thankful the Lord is faithful to answer and supply : )

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