When you think about prayer, what it is the first thing that comes to mind? For a lot of people, their view of prayer is somewhat different than what is portrayed in Scripture. What you and I think about prayer makes all the difference. In this post I would like to discuss what prayer is not.
Not a Religious Rite
Prayer is not merely a religious rite that we perform simply because it is part of our faith. It is not something that is just another part of the Sunday morning program. It is not something we do because that is what “good Christians” do. An attitude like this will suck all the life out of prayer and reduce it down to a meaningless ritual.
Not a Means of Gaining Favour
Some people have the attitude that God will like them better if they pray more. Exactly where they get that idea I am not sure. It certainly doesn’t come from the Scriptures. God loves us because He loves us, and there is nothing we can do to improve on that. Besides, if it were true that God loves us more if we pray more, how much would be enough? An hour? Two hours? You can see how this idea gets you nowhere fast. The truth is that we pray because we are loved, not to gain God’s love.
Not An Emergency Response Mechanism
It never ceases to amaze me how many people will not pray unless there is a crisis. Even then the crises will have to reach such a state as to be completely beyond their ability to rectify it. When every other avenue has been exhausted, prayer seems to be the final resort. This attitude actually reveals a lot of pride. It’s almost as if we are telling God that we can handle most of life without Him. We will only contact Him for the big stuff that is out of our league.
What Do You Think Prayer Is?
So what do you think prayer is? If any of the ideas I have mentioned come to mind, it signals a need for an upgrade in your understanding of what prayer is really all about. An upgrade would be a good thing, because prayer is an integral part of living in the Reign.