“Once a man was asked, ‘What did you gain by regularly praying to God?’ The man replied, ‘Nothing. But let me tell you what I lost: anger, greed, insecurity, and fear.’ Sometimes the answers to our prayers is not gaining but losing; which ultimately is the gain.” ~ Unknown
I remember being challenged by someone when I was younger. I would have been in high school at the time. This person asked me if I really believed in God, knowing that I attended church regularly and was thinking about the priesthood. I replied emphatically that I believed. He then asked if God let me down because I had such bad eyesight and needed glasses to see.
I told him that my faith in God was not diminished because I had troubled seeing. In fact, my faith in God was coupled with thanks that He had given someone the ability and expertise to craft eyeglasses for those of us with extremely poor sight.
Some people see faith and trust and prayer as a commodities game. They pray for things, they trust that God will do their will, and their faith is untarnished as long as they get what they want. However, the moment that they perceive that “God did not listen”, their faith is in tatters.
I would think that was at the heart of the question posed in today’s quote, “What did you gain?” Too many people approach prayer that way.
Prayer has to be about losing as much, if not more, than about gaining. A solid, intense prayer life helps us to lose our arrogance and pride. It helps us to lose our belief that we can go it alone in this world. It helps us to lose our fears. We gain so much when we lose all of those.
So, take the losing approach today and pray.
FAITH ACTION: If you have not already done so, make sure to set aside time to pray today.