This week I have had tons of discussion on prayer! I made the statement during my sermon this week that our prayers do not actually influence God’s actions! Strong statement I know. But the reality is that God has written out all of our days and knows every action that will take place.
We have created a world where Christianity is all about us and what we receive. It is a consumer-based religion! We have taught for far too long that if we pray God will act. Many have gone so far as to say that if we pray in specific formulas or with specific attitudes, that God has no choice but to act! In essence, our words create a “eureka” moment for God. It’s as if we think He hears us and says, “I never thought of that, or I wasn’t planning on that. But, because they asked I have to do that!” How backwards is that?!?!?!?
Psalms 139: 16 says that all our days were planned before one actually came into existence. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God has prepared the “good works” in advance for us to do. Hebrew 4:13 tells us that God knows all things because all things are made visible to Him! We may have a desire in our hearts that is great, but 1 John 3:20 tells us that He is greater than our hearts! Finally, Romans 11:33-34 reminds us that no one can or has counseled God. It tells us His ways are unsearchable and un-traceable! He is the almighty and sovereign God!
So, how is it that we have made prayer all about us? Simple, we have reduced prayer to the coin that we have to place in our cosmic vending machine. We believe when we place our coin in the slot we receive a prize. But that is not prayer.
Ask these questions:
1. What is Prayer?
2. Why do you Pray?
3. How do you Pray?
Prayer is simply our communication with God! It strengthens our relationship. It reminds us of the One who is greater than ourselves. It reminds us of our need for forgiveness and mercy. It requires us to practice humility in the confession of our sins. When we pray for healing, needed resources, and direction; it reminds us of our need for someone greater than ourselves. It is a way to remind us we need God’s sovereignty to lead us through this life. Without these revelations Romans 8:28 is basically a worthless to us!
Just like a conversation with our best friend, the more we talk, the closer we become. The more time we spend with God, the closer we come to His heart! That is the purpose of prayer!