I think that Joy has read my mind and heart with this post. I have struggled in many of the same ways. Lord, we are praying for healing, we are doing it the way you tell us to, etc., why am I still having so many seizures & now migraines, too? Yet, as hard as it is to swallow (and I don't want to swallow this), Joy is right in what she states below.
I mentioned on my last blog how my prayer life has been under construction. During Connor's illness, I was always searching for bible verses and Christian books on a powerful prayer life. I was constantly in prayer for Connor and others. I was praying specifically. I was praying with Faith and Belief. I was praying with a group of united believers (when 2 or more are gathered in his name). I was approaching God with a repentant heart, always asking Him to search my heart for anything that would hinder my prayers. I didn't want to be lacking for anything in my prayer life. I didn't want to search my heart and my prayer life and find that I was hindering Connor in any way. I found myself following the instructions of all the best books on prayer. I was thorough, trying to find the right "recipe" for answered prayers.
At the end of Connor's battle with cancer, I found myself dazed and confused. Nothing about "powerful prayers" made sense anymore. The advice from all those "experts" didn't seem to measure up, didn't seem to work. Even following the Bible's advice on prayer didn't seem to help my case any. Praying with belief, praying in large numbers, praying specifically, praying in the right order, etc. didn't add any specific "power" to my prayers. I eventually realized that the quality and quantity of prayers do not change the course of God's plans for all of us. His plans will not be thwarted. His plans are much bigger than my personal desires.
So, here I am searching for the true, right meaning of my prayers...how God means for me to pray. I've come to the conclusion that our prayers are another example of complete faith and leaning on God's sovereignty without complete understanding. Complete surrender. It is not a wish list. There is not a recipe. It's our willingness to line up our will to His. Our opportunity to commune with Him. Our grateful response to His blessings and His character. Our heart's cry of pain and agony that resonates with His heart. Our choice to be obedient to His command to "Be still and know Him." Our chance to bask in His Presence, to feel His joy and His peace.
I find that all these lessons continue to bring me back to the same principle....complete surrender in all areas of my life. I find that my prayers look different now. I continue to "cast my cares upon Him, because He cares for me" (I Peter 5:7). I also pray for His will, for God's Grace to get through whatever comes our/your way, for God to redeem the situation and for me/us to know Him more. I don't know if this would be the best foundation for a book on powerful prayer. I think the experts may not agree fully with me. I just know that that's where I am right now - trying to sort through the ashes of my disappointed dreams and my unanswered prayers.
I like Sarah Young's perspective on the matter.
"Do not seek me primarily for what I can give you. Remember that I,the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart to you.
I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Remember your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day."