The danger of talking about prayer is it has been defined in terms that are often not biblical. Prayer is not a magic wand that you wave to get what you want. Prayer is not rubbing a magic lamp and God popping out as a heavenly genie to grant you three wishes. Prayer has been trivialized, distorted, and redefined in ways that are not biblical.
Don’t let anyone tell you that if you pray you’ll get everything you want. Prayer is to see that God’s will is done on earth, not yours. Prayer is not about you, it’s about HIM. Prayer is a partnership, and you are the minority partner. You don’t hold controlling interest in the company. Some of the books I’ve read on prayer border on arrogant demands that God submit to our will, wants, and wishes. That’s not praying to God, that’s talking to yourself. God is no man’s busboy.
Jessie Penn-Lewis says, “The enemy pushes truth too far, so that it becomes error; and even what is true can absorb you too much, so that you can become blind to all else. Whenever one thing possesses your mind so that you cannot think of anything else, it has gone too far. Because if one truth occupies your mind entirely, it closes it to God’s fresh revelation, and this is not a healthy spiritual condition.”
Someone has said, “If Satan can’t stop you, he’ll push you too far.” Real biblical praying is free from an agenda that promotes self. John Knox didn’t pray, “Give me success.” He prayed, “Give me Scotland or I die!” The late Samuel Chadwick said, “Go back! Back to that upper room; back to your knees; back to searching of heart and habit, thought and life; back to pleading, praying, waiting until the Spirit of the Lord floods the soul with light, and you are endued with power from on high.”
Don’t view prayer as a way to get God to see things your way. That’s not how you fix your life, your marriage, or your finances. God’s way of praying is for us to say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Get in the Word and learn to pray Scripture, not self.
Don’t fall prey to the deception that if you pray, everything will turn out like you’ve planned. We live in a fallen world. God answers prayer in numerous ways: Yes…No…Not now…I’ve got something better…If I did that, you’d miss My best for you. He’s got so much more in store than we can possibly imagine!
Let’s be a church that prays biblically!