Gaining weight and trying to stay fit is like water and oil that never blends. Anyone who likes to stay trim counters the excess baggage immediately with the strictest diet and intense exercise to lose every bit possible.
But from all that we know on prayer, losing things in prayer would be a fatuous argument. Yet the fitness analogy correlates so much to a prudent prayer life. When we run to God with our cares, we expect to be supplied well and in full. This is true, but just as a coin has two sides, there is a flip side that makes prayer a genuine engagement.
The story is told of a woman who was once asked, “What do you ‘gain’ from praying to God regularly?” She replied, “Usually I don’t ‘earn’ anything, but rather I ‘lose’ things.” And she quoted everything she lost praying to God regularly – her pride, arrogance, greed, anger, lust, the pleasure of lying, the taste of sin, impatience, despair, her discouragement and many more losses added to the list. So, we ask ourselves, “Does our prayer bring such a transformation in us?”
God, who made us heirs to the Kingdom, has supplied us with all heavenly blessings. And so, with all gained as adopted heirs, our prayer should carry us to a realm of yielding to be reduced from what we are into what God wants us to be: His true children that bear His image. This is why the Scripture acknowledges in Romans 8: “We do not know what we ought to pray for.” The Apostle Paul counted all gain as loss and every instance of his prayer was more for Kingdom purposes than for any personal profit. Further examples of faith warriors point us to a life that loses anything that hinders spiritual growth.
Prayer is the channel that connects us directly to God. It ultimately educates, strengthens, and heals, but uses our loss as the fuel to light the life of Christ in us.
So, are you gaining or losing in prayer?