A friend of mine posted this quote from S.D. Gordon on Facebook earlier this week and I thought it was a great way to end a week of talking about prayer:  “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed. But you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” (Quiet Talks on Prayer)

Technically speaking, I can do lots of things before I pray.  I can try to fix things on my own.  I can offer help to someone in need.  I can make plans and lists.  But while I can do all of those things, I’ve come to understand that their effectiveness is lessened if I do them without prayer.  Sure, my helping hand may ease someone else’s burden, but what am I not doing for them because I haven’t asked God what He would like me to do?  Yes, I can try to fix my situation and I can plan for my now uncertain future, but if I have not brought it to God first, how do I know my plans are His plans? 

More than all of that though, I have found that prayer does one thing for me every single time I stop and do it first: When I bring my requests and worries and fears to God, He gives my heart (and my mind) a peace that I can not find anywhere else.  And now that I know that, I have to ask myself, why would I not pray?

What is the greatest thing you’ve ever learned about prayer?  How has it changed the way you pray?