My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.
“It makes little difference what I pray for because God is in charge; I don’t sway God.” I read that this morning in For Today. And I must say, I don’t like what I read much at all.
If my prayers don’t matter and I don’t sway God at all, then what is the point of praying?
To me, this concept of a Higher Power with OA is really uncomfortable. I was raised in a Christian home. I have loved God, often very imperfectly, since my childhood. I was about eight when I came home from church and knelt with my older sister in front of the window of our bedroom and asked Jesus to come into my heart. There have been times when I have felt closer to Him than others—because of my actions (or inactions as the case my pay) and not because He actually went anywhere. God is God. He loves me, imperfections and all.
I know what the point of prayer is—it is communication with God. It’s not just me talking to Him and telling Him what is in my heart. After all, He is God and He knows all of that anyway. It is my time to listen to what He is telling me. “It makes little difference what I pray….” In a sense, I suppose that is true. God knows, and coming to Him in prayer doesn’t change what He knows. He is in charge, and my life is in His hands.
But I really disagree with the whole “I don’t sway God” part of that statement. I may not always sway Him, but I don’t doubt that my prayers can sway Him. I am not so insignificant to God that He won’t take my wants and desires to heart and change what He has planned. Not to say that I am so all-important to Him that He will always change everything in order to give me what I want. There are so many places in my life where I can point out times that God did not do what I asked Him to do for me. There are equally as many where I know that He did do what I asked.
Who’s to say that my prayers didn’t impact Him and cause Him to rethink things in those times?
There are events in the Bible that show how God changed his mind based on the prayers of His people. One that comes to mind quickly is in the 20th chapter of 2 Kings. Hezekiah, a good king who did what was pleasing to God, trusted God, and remained faithful to God no matter what, was ill. God told him, through the prophet Isaiah, that he was not going to recover from his illness. Hezekiah knew that he was going to die. He wasn’t ready to die, though, I asked God to please give him more life. God agrees and gave Hezekiah 15 more years.
I don’t think that I am anywhere near as honorable as King Hezekiah was. But I can’t think that I mean so little to God that He would completely ignore my prayers.
I don’t go into prayer thinking that God is going to listen to every word I say and do everything that I want. Not even where my food addiction is concerned. But I do go into it with a heart trained on Him and a willingness to change my desires to more accurately reflect His will. I don’t expect Him to be swayed by everything that I say. At the same time, I will not close myself to the possibility that He might be swayed by something.
There is no way to know how God will choose to show His love for me. But I am confident that He does love me and that He will show that love in some awesome way.
Today and every day.