January 11, 2005

Our Prayers Need Some Work!

Being connected to the Internet allows one the luxury and the burden of knowing way too many things going on in the world. Today we are privy to the prayer concerns of people circumventing the globe not just our own church or neighborhood. My focus today is the thoroughly lopsided emphasis we have regarding the kinds of things for which we ask prayer.

Have you noticed that far and away the bulk of prayer requests and certainly the most urgent ones have one common theme; physical well-being of one stripe or another.

If it’s not for “traveling mercies” (whatever they are) it’s for safety through an operation; or a good diagnosis, or wisdom for the doctors, or quick healing, or comfort from pain, the infection, the side effects, the medicine, you name it, the majority of prayer requests center around our physical comfort and health.

To be sure, Phil. 4 tells us NOT to be anxious about anything but in everything…make our requests known to God. But judging by our requests, I would have to say the overwhelming majority of our prayers are preoccupied with a view to a cozier, cushier lifestyle.

And if that is true, that’s a problem. Review your Bibles! We are called to suffer yet we pray for deliverance from it; we are told our bodies are wasting away yet we plead for the opposite; we are told that to depart and be with Christ is far better than to remain here but we pray for longevity. I think something is wrong with both our theology and our view of eternity. Could it be we really don’t believe it?

What would a more Biblical prayer sound like? “God, during this time of pain, help to me lean on you and glorify you in spite of the pain.” “Father, use me while I’m at the hospital to be a shining light for you in the midst of my ordeal.” “Lord, fill me with your strength for though I am weak you are strong; draw someone to yourself through my suffering.” I think our prayers might need some radical revamping and it would probably be a good idea to go through that Bible again in this New Year to reacquaint ourselves with the God we’re supposed to know so well but we have such a long way to go.


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