What’s more important…and what would make the biggest impact:
1) MORE believers? or
2) More real transformed existing believers?
Maybe it’s my teachable spirit, or maybe it’s the fact that I just make a lot of mistakes, but I seem to be expressing a lot of “I haven’t been very good at XYZ” type messages lately. Well, here is another on that growing list: I haven’t been very good at reaching out to you for prayer requests and to ask you to pray for our ministry. Many of the people we work with need prayers and this ministry has lots of prayer needs.
So, If you are the type of person who actively prays for others, I want you on our Prayer Team! If you need prayers for something, please share them using the comments below or email us using our contact us form. Our ministry has many prayer requests, but I’ll start with just one for this week. [Read more…]
Do you think God hears everyone’s prayers? More specifically does God hear unbeliever’s prayers? Why or why not?
So, what types of prayers are an abuse of the God pleasing practice of praying to Him? The Answer: Prayers intended for and directed AT those around you, instead of prayers TO God. I’m talking about prayers intended to teach someone a lesson instead of prayers TO God.
Let me paint a picture of what I’m talking about. As I paint this picture, ask yourself if you have ever fallen into this incredibly bad prayer abuse habit.
You are a parent of little children who have absolutely driven you crazy all day long. They haven’t listened to you. They have been disobedient and disrespectful to you and their siblings. And now it’s time for family Dinner and the family dinner prayer.
It goes something like this: “Dear God, help my children be more respectful. Help them to love one another. Help them to realize that when they treat other people rudely or disrespectfully, they are disobeying you God. God, you command us to love one another, and when we don’t do that, we sin. God, please help my kids be more loving. Amen!”
What I’ve witnessed in group prayer situations is all too often a speech, chastisement, or teaching session directed at the listeners instead of a prayer focused on and to God
Now, on the surface, these might seem like reasonable “intercessory” prayers. And if you were in a private place praying just between you and God, I would say it would be perfectly fine. However, what I’ve witnessed in group prayer situations is all too often a speech, chastisement, or teaching session directed at the listeners instead of a prayer focused on and to God.
I think this is an abuse of prayer and I think it needs to stop. I’ve caught myself doing this with my kids, and I’ve got to stop too. I’m guilty of this abuse and as I work to eliminate this bad habit, I’m encouraging you to join me in praying more appropriately.
When we pray, let us pray TO God, and FOR God…not as a way of teaching or disciplining our kids. If you want to say those prayers to help your kids…great. Just do them in private as a conversation between you and God. If you want to teach your kids a lesson, have a conversation with them about the issue you are trying to correct. If you want some effective prayer on the issue, talk with your children and suggest THEY pray to God about their behavior, ask forgiveness, and ask God to help them.
So, who can join me in admitting that we sometimes abuse prayer in this way? Who will join me in resolving to stop praying this way?
If you do, leave a comment and also share how this might change the way you pray with your families.
Corrie ten Boom said, “Any concern to small to be turned into a prayer is to small to be made into a burden”. What concerns you? What burdens haunt you daily? What do you care about so much about that you pray for it daily or more than daily?