One of the most prominent minds of the first half of the twentieth century was philosopher and author C.S. Lewis. As a young man, he met Joy Greshem, a poet. They established a strong friendship that grew into love. They eventually married, then Joy was diagnosed with cancer. After a hard battle, she died. But there were many ups and downs along the way.
During a period when Joy was responding well to treatment, a colleague of Lewis’s approached him with words of praise. “I know how hard you’ve prayed. God is answering your prayers,” he said.
Lewis replied, “I didn’t pray for that. I prayed because I can’t help myself. The power of prayer isn’t that it changes my circumstances, but that it changes my heart.”
Most of us practice what I call “outcome prayers.” We pray in order for God to change an outcome. But real spiritual maturity is marked by the man or woman who prays in order to get in touch with the Father out of a desire to change their heart.
Joy still died. But C.S. Lewis went on to change the world. But before he changed the world, God changed his heart.