Monday, August 31, 2009

Prayer: What it Is Not

It is interesting to note that even as Jesus' disciples saw Him preach the greatest sermon, heal the sick and even raise up the dead, when they were given a chance to make a request to Jesus, they did not request for preaching skills, or the power to heal the sick or raise the dead. In Luke 11, Jesus' disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.

But, what is prayer, really? From what I have seen in the religious culture in our country the Philippines, among believers and what I see in the Word of God, let me share what prayer is not.

Prayer is not a magic wand. Many people who profess to believe in God use prayer superstitiously. It is used like a lucky charm when they are in need of something from God.

Prayer is not a fire extinguisher - for emergency use only. Of course, prayer is the best option and should be the first - not the last option. It surely is necessary during dire situations but prayer should not just be used during emergencies.

Prayer is not a tug-of-war with God. We do not have to beg, bribe or plead with God to answer our prayers. All we need to do is ask.

Prayer is more than just a religious duty. It is more than repeated, vain words, strictly scheduled times with God. If you pray and treat prayer like any or all of these four things then we may be missing the whole point of prayer. It is an act of cooperating with God, saying our requests to God, dedicating ourselves to God and most of all, communicating with God - like a child communicates with his father or a friend communicating with another friend.

Why don't you try this? During a time within the day when you are at your best, relax and focus on the presence of God. Then start talking to Him. You can even write a journal or a private blog of your communication with God. I assure you that it will revolutionize your prayer life. Go ahead, try it!



Reena said...

Oo nga. Sometimes kasi we have the tendency to pray during personal adversities eh. Thanks for this reminder. :)