Trained to Pray


This is probably going to be one of the weirdest connections you have ever heard, but it is okay. It came to me in the middle of church as we were going through the book of Habakkuk.

In my psychology class, my professor talked about a rat assignment they used to give to all the students. Every student was to train their rat to do something, such as press a button, and whichever rat, at the end of training, pressed the button the most in a 30 minute span was the winner.

The students trained their rats by feeding them a piece of food when they pressed their button. Some people were consistent to give them food every single time the button was pushed. Other students waited for the rat to press the button about 10 times before giving them food. By the time the test came around, it turned out that the rats who pressed the button the most were those who didn’t get food consistently.

I related this to us in prayer. What would happen if God answered every prayer with what we wanted, right away? We would turn God into a genie, and only come when we needed something. We would pray sparingly. However, God has perfect timing and makes us watch and wait. When we pray, He listens, but He doesn’t immediately give us what we want, or sometimes He says no. This pushes us to continue to pray in desperation for God. God wants us to come to Him often, and He knows this is the way to do it. Just as trials bring us to God more than happiness, the longer the trial, the greater the impact. God stretches our reliance on Him. In a way, we are like little rats (or mice if that sounds better to some of you). We are always going for what we want and need, but with slow results, we spend more time looking. We spend more time praying.

Brothers and sisters, watch and pray. It is always for the best.

By the way, that is a cute picture I found of pinterest, it’s not mine. (:


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