Wednesday is for Prayer
When the things that we pray for are dominated by financial need and the restoration of health, whether ours or a family members, when the things for which we thank God are filled with the answers to such prayers and the joy we have in those answers, we are not participating in the great story of the Bible in a very soul-satisfying way.
It isn’t wrong to pray for health and happiness, for jobs and release from financial strain, or children to make good decisions or do well in school. These are all legitimate subjects to lay before the loving eyes of God and ask him to intervene on behalf of his children. Keep praying such prayers and imploring the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). In fact, do it with greater passion, greater fervency, greater anticipation that God hears and is the rewarder of those who place their faith in him (Heb. 11:6).
But the fact that such prayers almost completely dominate, almost completely encompass the totality of our prayers is surely a sign of a . . . lets put it plainly, a rottenness at the core of our spiritual life or at best a childish immaturity to our prayers.
Where are the prayers that we see and are admonished to pray in the New Testament? Look at the Lord’s prayer for instance. are we praying for the Kingdom of God to come? That would mean the destruction of every idea raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). Are we praying for his will to be done? Is there any fire to our prayers? Are we praying for boldness to speak the way we ought to speak? Are we asking God for wisdom to season our speech in such a way that it opens up opportunity for the gospel to be proclaimed (Col. 4:2-6; Eph. 6:19)?
You can tell much about an individual or a church body by examining the things for which it prays most consistently. Do our prayers revolve around the nexus of greater comfort, greater security and increased convenience for ourselves or do our prayers reflect a fisher of men’s thirst for others?
a worshipers thirst for the glory of God?
an artist’s hunger for the beauty of holiness?
an overwhelmed joy in knowing that we have been rescued from the pit?
a hunger for justice as ones who are called by a compassionate God into service?
Have you heard what your prayers are saying about the status of your soul lately?
- Use the next two weeks to study the content of the early church’s prayers in the book of Acts. Answer this question: What dominated the prayers of the early church?