Prayer Is

If God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it, why pray?                  prayerroots&shoots

Agnostic pundits and chronic doubters love this question. It makes, in their mossy little minds, “religious people” look like drones: thoughtless and easily led.

And it shows an astonishing misunderstanding of the practice of prayer.

Prayer is not:

  • simply a spiritual exercise
  • begging
  • trying to change God’s mind

God is not hoarding good things like health, reconciled relationships, or financial peace from us. We are not trying to pry blessings from His hand.

So what is it?

Prayer is:

  • aligning ourselves with the purposes of God
  • releasing the power of God to accomplish those purposes
  • intercession

Prayer that seeks to align us with the purposes of God frees us from our human-centric thinking. With an attitude of “not my will”, God is able to begin working out His will in the things we ask.

 Aligning.

Aligning.

Do not underestimate the importance of this.

We know what we want. We know how we want it.

God, however, wants us to want what He wants. Not my will means we are willing to cooperate with the God Who loves us.

Prayer, aligned with the purposes of God, releases His power. That power, Paul said in Eph. 1:19-20, is the working of His mighty strength.

Look at that language. The working of His mighty strength.

We all want that. It is only available, however, to those who are not my willed. Who are aligned.

Prayer that intercedes is serious. We learn to pray without ceasing, throughout the day, and in time set aside.

But intercession is prayer ratcheted up. It is Moses between God’s wrath and the golden calf. It is Abraham between Lot and utter destruction. It is Paul on his face for the churches he loved.

It is Jesus in the Garden.

 Prayer sets God's will in motion.

“Not my will” sets God’s will in motion.

It should be us for our neighborhoods and cities.

Martin Luther said, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.”

Indeed.

And it’s up to us to align and lay hold.

What’s going in your praying life?

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Great post sister Deb! SO thankful for the power of prayer!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Erin Smith on January 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Amen! I was reading just yesterday and looking at Jesus example in Luke 22… Where as he prayed for God to take this cup…but prayed God’s will be done, “an angel from heaven strengthened him, and being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” As I read this I felt encouraged that it was hard for Jesus to pray as well at times, however we are called to persevere in prayer, just as Jesus did… This is God’s will for our prayer life. We should not back off because it is hard to pray, we should press in and expect to be strengthened, just as Jesus was.

    Reply

  3. I agree. When we are moved to intercessory prayer, we are standing in the gap between God and a great need. We need more of this kind of prayer in these times.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Barbi on February 1, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Very good article and very true but could you please give me your feelings on John 14:13 & 14, ask anything in my name….

    Reply

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