Conformed to His Image
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. — Romans 8:29
I have been praying a couple of wrong prayers. They haven’t necessarily been bad prayers. I have been praying for the last decade or so for God to be on certain things that I do. For example, in 2007 I asked Him to help me be a great math teacher. In no way have I “arrived” in the “I’m a great educator” department, but I am a LOT better than I was pre-2007. In 2003, I volunteered as a preacher. I basically told God that I was available if for some messed up reason He wanted yet another preacher of His Word. He wasted no time opening up doors. I constantly prayed that His Presence would be on every message that I preached.
Here’s the thing: God answered both prayers. I enjoy being an educator because He answered my prayer. I enjoy the Presence of God just about every time I bring His Word. Praying these prayers and receiving answers from above has changed my life. I look back and there is no way that I am in any way, shape, or form even decent at what I now do for a living without Him. I am more than thankful to Him for answering my prayers.
Even though I still have much further to go in the education department, whether it be teaching Christ or mathematics, I would take back my last 11 years of praying to be great at these things. I would change my prayer from “make me a great teacher and preacher” to one thing . . .
“Lord, conform me to the image of Your Son.”
What a prayer! What if instead of asking God to allow me to do great things for Him, I had simply been asking all along to make me more like Him?
It is so easy to make God a genie in a lamp. We believe, or at least I have believed that if I can rub Him the right way by doing the right things for Him that He is obligated to act on my behalf. Think about the things you have prayed for over the past few weeks or months. I bet, like me, they have been for Him to do things for you or someone else. Could it be that we are praying for Him to simply fix things that He designed to draw us more near to Him? I’m not saying we should stop praying for the things we need. Like any good father, God wants us to make our requests known to Him. I am saying that for the next 11 years, I want to begin my prayers with one thing and one thing only. I want to pray “Lord, make me like Jesus.” In no way, shape, or form does the world need another great school teacher. The world does not need another charismatic preacher who can build a big building and fill it with lots of people.
The world does need someone to walk as Jesus walked.
Lord, conform me to the image of your Son.