What is prayer?
When I was a young man I asked a video repairman who came to my house if he needed prayer for anything. I frequently did that back then. His response was, “Yeah, tell him to let me win lotto!”
His response invoked what I felt was a lack of intimacy with God. It saddened me at the time. I understand the desire for a better economic circumstance; however, is that all God is there for? Is he there just to make our circumstances better so we can live comfortable lives? Is he the ultimate means to an end?
One Pastor’s wife I met thought so. Back when I was young I was so burdened with many deep problems from abuse. One night after a church service, during an altar call where the elders prayed for people, this woman came up to me and wrote down a list of prayers she told me I needed to pray. I imagine she had watched a video teaching the latest and greatest Christian teaching… that really wasn’t so great.
She wrote about ten prayers on a piece of paper, which for a long time afterward I had taped to the back of my Bible. They went…
• I bind myself to the will of God for my life.
• I loose myself from all lies and deception.
• I bind myself to the truth.
• I loose myself from all addiction.
• And on and on.
Looking back, I almost see that as a form of Christian witchcraft or religiosity. She didn’t have a clue. Her prayers were based on Christ’s teaching about binding and loosing, but I don’t think she had any understanding of what he was teaching. I don’t either, which is why I don’t speak on it.
It strikes me as an attempt to pray our problems away. Vanity! And this is exactly what this post concerns. Our relationship with God, and prayer, which is largely how we communicate with Him, have again been used as a means to an end. She missed the point.
Yes, we need to make our wants and needs known to God through prayer, but they alone are not the answers. God is. It’s about connection and relating, not ignoring. Prayer is about sharing ourselves and our lives with Him. It is also about going through things with Him.
If I were to pray and ask for $1,000,000, what would be the point of saying those words and leaving it there while I sit back and do nothing? By all means ask for that. Yes! But if that’s what you ask for, have hope that it will happen. Don’t expect it to fall from the sky, though. It’s a process that begins and ends in and with God, as all of life is. You’ll have to do your part with God to make your dreams come true.
It’s about sharing your disappointments and delights with God as they come on the way to what you ask and believe for. That’s a relationship. We can ask God for anything, but if we ask for a lot, expect there to be a lot of sacrifices along the way. And that’s part of what God’s there for. He wants us to not only ask for things, whether material or otherwise, but to have us share ourselves and our experiences, and let Him be part of the entire journey and process of life with all of the good, bad, and the ugly that comes with it.
So, ask, ask, and keep asking!
But get ready to rock the boat and roll up your sleeves! Get close to him – even if you don’t ask for much. It’s still about connecting with Him. For me, at the age of 41, in all of my life experience, intimacy with my Maker has been by far the greatest and most rewarding thing I have experienced.
Scott McKernanKindly go to setting page and check the option "Place them manually"