When I began tennis lessons years ago, I admired the advanced players who could hit the ball hard, push their opponent back on their heels and score points with ease.
I told my coach, “I want to hit the ball hard like the other guys!” He would grimace and retort, “You don’t want to hit the ball hard. You want to hit it right.”
It took me a few years to figure out what it meant to “Hit the ball right.” I’m still learning! And have more to learn.
But once I learned how to hit the ball properly, his wisdom began to make sense.
Advanced players hit the ball hard because they hit it right. Not the other way around.
They don’t hit the ball hard and that makes it right. They hit the ball correctly, and the effect of their finesse and technique is a ball sent with meteor speed across the net and with accurate placement. Points are won.
The same rule applies to prayer.
Have you ever been tempted to think, “I need to pray really hard today to heal a problem?” As if the harder you pray, the more likely God will answer your request?
No, it’s not how “hard you pray” that brings solutions. It’s the truth you understand that opens thought to God’s ever-present solutions.
To “pray hard,” implies the utilization of grit determination, headlong human will, even pride. These attributes of the carnal mind get in the way of divine grace. They do not augment it.
The better route is to “pray right.” “Know the truth,” Jesus instructed. It’s not “hard” to know the truth.
In fact, it’s a very beautiful, uplifting, inspiring experience to know truth.
To know truth is to “get it right.” Truth is what heals, not human willpower.
At times, when hopes are low, spirits dim and darkness is all around, the human mind might need a “kick in the behind,” to snap it out of its mesmerism and start thinking spiritually. A strong dose of determination in the form of “I’m going to pray until I get it right,” might be helpful and jumpstart the journey. But as progress is made, it’s helpful to dissolve the human element and let the divine take over.
It’s not how hard you argue the truth that makes truth true. Truth is already true. It’s how quickly you accept God’s truth as your truth that brings the good effect.