God wants us to notice Him and figure out what will please Him, Wayland Baptist University’s Dr. Jim Dixon told the Tucson Prayer Connection on Oct. 10.
The Prayer Connection, hosted by Family Life Communications, focused on praying effectively. Pastors, worship leaders and the community were invited to participate in the annual event.
“We have been conditioned to think going to church and praying is about getting God to pay attention to us,” said Dixon, also pastor of the First Baptist Church north of Tucson. “Actually, going to church is about us paying attention to God.”
Dixon said prayer meetings are tough to get Christians to attend. They have been hurt when God does not answer prayer, or the answer does not turn out as expected, he said.
“Most of what we pray for, we never get,” Dixon said. “Few things in this world seem to turn out as we hoped. We often do not feel the love or respect we hope for in this life.”
Dixon said the perception would change if Christians knew what to pray for. He said people have the ability to get what they want through their own will. It has nothing to do with faith.
“We need to have a sense of what God wants,” Dixon said. “What does God want and desire? What is my place? God is trying to use you and me.
“If we are interested in the accomplishment of God’s will, we can and must have His power come along side of us to make that happen.”
Most prayers go unanswered, Dixon said, because it’s all about us, not about God’s plan for us.
“When we pray, we want God to satisfy our will,” Dixon said. “We tend to ignore what the Bible says. We tell God what we want. That does not work.”
“When we pray within the boundaries of God’s will, he hears it and answers it,” Dixon said.
Dixon said praying within the will of God feels like a close relationship.
“It’s with someone you know, not a stranger,” he said. “Our great concern as we go to prayer must not be that God will grant our request but that God will reveal Himself to us.”
Family Life Prayer Coordinators Rita Price and JoAnn Johnson organized the Prayer Connection.
Local sponsor Chick-Fil-A provided refreshments for participants.