For the typical person in the pew, prayer would probably be defined as, “Asking God for things or asking Him to do things.” Too often we don’t see prayer as a primary means of worship. David did. In the Psalms, much of what David wrote was an expression of praise and adoration regarding the greatness of God and His wonderful love. He sought God for who He is. But our prayers are too often about seeking God only to meet a need. How did we get here?
Unfortunately, I think people have gotten to this point because they have followed us as their spiritual leaders. In many cases, we have led them to the lowest common denominator when it comes to prayer. We have taught them that prayer is simply about asking.
Therefore, we see asking as the primary purpose of our corporate prayer. The reason people come to a time of prayer is to be prayed for or, to pray for the needs of others. This is also reflected in the primary question the prayer leader asks toward the beginning of a time of prayer. “What are your prayer requests?” It is certainly not wrong to pray for specific requests. God wants us to present our requests before Him.
But if the question, “What are your prayer requests?” is the only way we introduce our times of prayer, then those who hear it will eventually develop a faulty theology of prayer. God becomes the vending machine and our prayers become the coins. If we put the right coins in the machine, and press D-3 then we will get our answer. And if we don’t get our answer we think there is something wrong with the machine.
There is so much more to prayer than this! Rather than seeing prayer as a wonderful invitation to deepen our love relationship with the God of the universe, we have come to think it is the last resort to make sure our needs are met.
Continually focusing on our needs rather than on Him and His desires robs us of wonderful relationship and causes us to miss some of His best answers.
*Blessed by Doing – Intentionally don’t ask for prayer requests in the next time of prayer you facilitate. Explain you are going to try an experiment. Spend time exalting Jesus then only pray about the things you sense are really on His heart.
Taken from “United and Ignited”. Click here for more information.
Carol Sowder · at
Right on , Dennis! Thanks.