Prayer is not a Presentation; It's a Conversation
The Bible has many verses telling us to pray for things we want, things we need (big difference between 'wants' and 'needs', but that's a topic for another time.... stay with me here). In fact, God's Word tells us that we don't get because we don't ask. Here are just a couple of examples of scriptures commonly referenced on the importance of asking through prayer:
James 4:2-3 New International Version (NIV)2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
John 16:24 New International Version (NIV)24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
OK, so I got this. Let the prayin' and the askin' begin!
But, wait (insert sound of car slamming on brakes).
Hang on a minute. I've been praying for years for something to happen in the life of someone I know. Years, I tell ya. My motives were pure, my prayers were diligent, clear, and to-the-point. God knew exactly what I wanted Him to do. Yet, despite my presentation worthy of a Fortune 500 boardroom, what I was praying for did not happen. Frustrated and, frankly, burned out, I told God "Fine, then, forget about it. Just skip it. I'm done praying for that. I give up. You can take this one, God".
Did you catch that? I'm "handing it back" to God (like I ever "had it" in the first place). My prayers were based on what I came up with, what I determined to be the perfect solution for the problem. Yeah, I am so stinkin' brilliant, "Here God, just do this", I say. (So, how did that work for ya, Abby?)
Well, thanks to this embarrassingly 'junior Christian' epiphany on my part, I will be praying in a whole different approach from now on - in all things, but especially when it comes to how I pray for God to work in my life and in the life of others I care about. I will start my prayers by thanking God for being God, and for the opportunity to even get to pray. I will then praise Him for His wisdom as He works all things for good, according to His perfect will. Finished with: And Lord, forgive me for my spiritual cockiness. Shoulda dropped the mic a long time ago.