Elevate Christian Network :: Prayer Requests
By: Roger Himes
Prayer Requests: Too often, we only use prayer when we’re in a state of need – often a desperate state of need. We pray a healing prayer if
we need healing. We pray a miracle prayer if we need a miracle. We send up prayer requests for anything including ‘traveling mercies,’ and ‘unspoken prayer requests.’
When we prayer for ourselves it is commonly called petition. When we pray for others it is called intercession. It’s common for us to pray for both ourselves and others.
THE MAIN PURPOSE OF PRAYER
But this is not the purpose of prayer. God created us for relationship with himself. We should exist for his pleasure, not expecting him to exist for us. First off, prayer should be simply to relate to God, or what is called having ‘fellowship’ with him.
If we only pray in times of need, especially desperate need, we are not going to feel like we are making contact with God. We’re going to feel like we’re out-of-touch with God, and that we’re really not getting his attention. If we are feeling like this, we’re really not praying in faith like the Bible says we should be.
MANY KIDS TODAY JUST LIKE TO ‘HANG OUT’
This is a good way to view prayer: to just hang out with God. Kids that do this, have no agenda (like we do with God when we implement healing prayer, miracle prayer, prayer requests or intercessory prayer). Kids don’t have any plan or purpose for getting together. They just want to ‘be together.’ They just want to ‘hang out.’
Take at least a small part of each day to just hang out with God.
I do this on my 4-5 mile power walks I take almost every day. This is a 50 to 75 period of time where I’m just alone with my thoughts, and I just focus on God. I also do this early in the morning while reading a section of the Bible.
“PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”
Paul says to ‘pray without ceasing’ (I Thes 5:17). Ask yourself: is this actually possible to do? The answer is no. No one can pray continually – without stopping. Even Paul himself didn’t do it. So was Paul being a hypocrite saying we should? No, because he didn’t mean this literally, like we so often take it.
If no one can literally ‘pray without ceasing,’ what does Paul mean? He means to just live in open fellowship with God, giving some conscious attention to his presence. Jesus says several times that we are ONE with the Father, and with himself, through the Holy Spirit.
If this is true, then we are never without God’s presence. Jesus said, “I’ll be with you always.” All we have to do is believe this, and give mental assent that it is true. We do this by acknowledging God’s presence with us throughout the day, thus showing our recognition that God is with us, and that we are one with him. If his presence is contingent on our faithfulness, he’d be more gone than here.
PRAYER IS ALSO LISTENING TO GOD
We often think in terms of our prayer being us speaking. But who do you think has the most important things to say? Is it us or is it God? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Romans 8:26 talks about the Holy Spirit praying for us in ways we cannot know. We are to take every thought captive to Christ’s obedience for us, and not just think about what we did last week – or last night (II Cor 10:5).
Three times in Hebrews 3 and 4 it repeats the same statement: “Today, if you will hear his voice…” It’s more significant when scripture repeats itself, but when it repeats something three times it’s especially significant.
Modern Bible translations often play havoc with Bible meanings, and substitute modern thoughts for spiritual thoughts. Most modern Bibles cut one word from this as say, “Today if you hear his voice.” They take the word ‘WILL’ out of it and treat this as something inadvertent, and totally outside our control.
The word ‘WILL’ is very important. It states how we hear God’s voice.
It takes time, and quietness, and trust and faith to hear God’s voice. God doesn’t always speak the way we do – in successive, on-going flow of words, where you often have to interrupt someone to say what you are thinking. Many people never seem to know when to take a breath from motor-mouthing what they want to say.
God is not this way. We must most often pause, wait, and listen in order to hear him. Sometimes he’ll take hours, days, or even months to reply. I waited for one reply for years.
“Today if you WILL hear his voice” requires at least periodic focus.
PRAYER SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON GOD
The bottom line is that prayer should be more focused on God, and his Kingdom, rather than on us and our worldly desires: “Lord, give me a better life, the way I direct.” Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added…” Like a kid and his dad, God wants us to just enjoy hanging out with him.
Remember that what he has to say is much more important than anything we have to say.
As The Gospel Life Coach, Roger Himes shows how the gospel is the power of God, enabling us to live life better by accident than we ever could on purpose. http://www.TheGospelCoach.com. You will begin to find new coaching videos at: http://RogerHimesLifeCoach-GospelTranformation.com. Read regular tweets on Twitter: /TheGospelCoach
Featured Prayer Video: In this video, Pastor Creflo Dollar teaches on “What Jesus Said About Prayer”.