Choices are always important, especially for Christians. Prayers are also important, but so is how we seek the answers to them.
I was reading Am I Enough by Grace Valentine and the part where she discussed the choices she made stood out to me. She did not run from her problems or blame others for her decision to respond in the way she did. I then realized there have been a lot of my personal choices I have blamed on others. The most recent is my choice to seek an answer to my prayer over God Himself.
I began to realize I turned to God when I was in "need" of help. (Sometimes I would mistakenly classify wants as needs. I wanted xyz to happen or I messed up and need bailing out again. It was often more of a desire even when I did not realize it.) I did not intentionally seek the answer I wanted over God. I have attended and taught enough Sunday School to know better than to use God as a magical wish granter. Yet, here I stood doing just that but with "good intentions." My intentions were not to use prayer for what I wanted. My intentions were to stay afloat, to pass that test, to survive a situation I caused and to get through the day.
The truth is I was seeking the answer and not the how and why. I was not truly gaining anything. I was not gaining a relationship with God. I was not learning from my experiences. I was simply seeking a short term fix because "good Christians pray when they need something."
I am not trying to say prayer is a bad thing, because it is not! It is an amazingly powerful tool that God has given us. But the thing is God gave it to us. It is like your parents giving a child a bicycle. The child enjoys the bicycle, uses it daily, uses it the way they were taught and enjoys where it takes them. Then the child begins to love the bike and sees the bike as the answer. Does the child want to go to their neighbors? The bike is the answer. Does the child want fun? The bike again. The child is bored? You guessed it, the bike. But the thing is, the bike is the vehicle but the parents are the true source of their safety and happiness. If the bike chain breaks who will fix it? Mom and Dad. If the child falls and hurts his knee? Mom and dad to the rescue. Who should the child turn to the bike or the parents? The parents.
I was like a child and the bike. My focus became on prayer and the answers that would "fix" my life. My focus left God and I became fixated on something else. I was stopped seeking the God who gives the answers and sought after quick fixes. It left me in a state where I was constantly patching things up and praying for quick fixes, all while feeling a distance between God and I. It was not a happy time. I realize that it could have been avoided had I just sought the true source of my happiness, peace, and comfort.