Prayer is not designed to change God; it is designed to change the one who prays. Because of this, we need to be aware of our praying, for we will take the shape of our prayer and be transformed by it.
A New Year’s Day prayer: I pray that I am open to your will for me more than I have ever been before. Give me the spiritual sense and strength that I need to be more fully what you created me to be. When I am angry, turn it into knowledge and acceptance. When I feel sad, turn it into compassion for others.
When in resignation – turn it into fortitude. Turn my fear into courage, my doubt into faith. When I have love, add a cup of hope. Teach me, Lord, how to be humble, forgiving, and wise.
I’ve come to realize that you answer this prayer every time I am in a relationship, every day in my dealings with family, friends, and strangers. That is, you give me the opportunity to practice what I ask for in prayer. If I remind myself of this, and make myself more aware, then it is also I who is in partnership with you, answering my own prayer. My prayer, after all, is my understanding of your will for me to be all you created me to be. It is my promise to work toward that end.