Productive Prayers

God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer. ~Mother Teresa

We often approach prayer with an agenda. We know what we want and we want God’s stamp of approval. I think we waste considerable amount of time fixated on our plans instead sitting at his feet and allowing Him to lead us down the best path.

When I was at the height of my addiction to alcohol, I approached the Lord with a plan. In the past I’ve referred to it as my win-win situation prayer. I could continue to drink but I would stop getting wasted every night. My one request was to drink to like a “normal” person.

So everyday, for a few months, my prayer was…Lord, I know I have a problem, but just help me to drink like a normal person. I just want to be normal.

I wasted time telling God what I wanted. My prayer was unproductive. I sat down one morning, frustrated that God was not answering my prayer. I realized I had nothing left to say. I couldn’t seem to achieve normal. I was done trying get the Lord to do things my way. And on that day, my prayer changed.

“Lord, change my heart. Make my desire for You stronger than my desire to drink.”

My prayer was answered. Not overnight. And, not without some pain. But my prayer was answered! *

After this season in my life, I learned one of the greatest lessons of my life.

God’s not after normal. God’s after our heart.

*November 27, 2011 I will celebrate 10 years of sobriety! (insert Snoopy happy dance here)

13 thoughts on “Productive Prayers

  1. Suzanne

    Oh, so true. We want things on our terms. Until we surrender, do they become His terms. Thanks for sharing. I love learning stuff about you.

  2. Jenifer

    First off, congrats on ten years! Praise God!

    I love your last line, God's not after normal. God's after our heart. Oh so true!

  3. Heidi

    Oh, Eileen thank you… I am about to go into a time of prayer in just a few minutes over something and this is just the encouragement I needed. I do know what I want, but I want to pray and listen to what He wants. Thank you for sharing this wisdom and that last line does say it all… "God's not after our normal, He's after our heart."

  4. Eileen

    Suzanne, surrender is definitely the key!

    Tracy, thanks!

    Lisa, normal is over-rated 😉

    Jenifer, thanks Jenifer. It's hard to believe sometimes.

    Jon, thank you!

    Heidi, I think sharing our wants with the Lord is okay but we just have to be sure that our wants aren't shouting over His voice. Learning to listen and obeying Him is the challenge.

  5. Kandi


    First of all congratulations on almost 10 years sober, that is so awesome! If I could pick out a favorite part of this post, it would be the whole thing, but the last line got me, he is not after normal he is after our hearts, love that! I have to say I am guilty of praying my agenda and then adding in for good measure at the end, if it is Your will Father, as if He needs my permission. Awesome post today Eileen.

    Blessings to you

  6. Tiffini

    happy dancing with you:)
    yes..I too am just beginning to understand this prayer..agenda
    Now more than ever I am just enjoying being with God..and when I see myself begin to head down the agenda path I am aware of it…which is a step forward from last year:)..moving forward if only a eensy bit..

  7. Fields of gold

    Congratulations, Eileen! God is faithful to help always.

    I wonder how much we'd hear if we were quiet and changed the way we prayed. Thanks for the awesome encouragement!


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