3 questions concerning your prayer life.
Everything flows through your connection with God. When I say everything, I literally mean everything. Your spiritual, emotional, even physical well being flows out from your relationship with God. Your connection with God is your prayer life. For a long time I assumed that my spiritual life and the other facets of my life were separate. But as I matured in my relationship with God I’ve begun to understand that behind everything is the spiritual. Your awareness of that fact will lead you to a greater understanding of the critical role that prayer plays in your existence. I don’t want to just exist but I want to maximize the fulfillment, joy, and potential of my life, so my prayer life needs to be strong.
I have heard it said that there is no wrong way to pray, but I believe that’s entirely unbiblical. There is a wrong way to pray and there is a right way to pray. The efficiency of your prayers have to with the question of why, what and how you pray.The WHAT and HOW you pray are important but in order to get to the root we have to discuss the WHY of your prayers.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
James 4:1-3 NKJV
James writes here that we can pray from the same well that fights and murder stems from, Lust.
The first building block of a powerful connection with God is breaking down the WHY of your prayer life. Is it so that you can have more? Why do you want more? Do you want more in order to be a blessing or do you just want more in order to build your own life. More is not bad in itself, it becomes harmful when you are no longer thankful for what you currently have. How can I tell if my motive is correct? It’s harder that you think, Jeremiah, the great Old Testament prophet, said “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” The number one way to know your motive is to ask, What am I doing with what I currently have in my life?
The second component of the WHY is, Do I pray out of religion or relationship? An immature christian prays because if they don’t pray they won’t get. They won’t be blessed, they won’t go to heaven, they won’t _______________. If I don’t pray God will be mad at me and if God is mad at me then the Devil is going to get me. This is a form of Idolatry, this is the type of prayers that the heathen prays. If I don’t pray then God won’t bless. This is faulty reasoning, Scripture clearly states that God is Love and He is Good. We should never approach him out of fear. Many of us have prayed from the fear that if I don’t my right standing with God will be compromised. Sons and daughters only fear Fathers that are tyrants and our Heavenly Father is not a tyrant. I don’t have to pray, I get to be in my Father’s presence.
We should approach our Abba, with awe and reverence, like a 5 year old that thinks his Daddy hung the moon. We pray because we love God and desire to be in relationship with him. I hope my children don’t tell me they love me because they want a toy or the don’t want to be punished. I hope when they haven’t seen me in a while and they run into my arms it’s not just because they want to see what I brought them. I pray that we approach God not out of fear of manipulation but out of love and adoration.
We need to examine our WHY periodically to make sure our connection with God is on solid ground. Once we have our WHY right then we can move on to the WHAT and HOW. We will get to those in a later post.