Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What is Prayer?

Why do you pray? Is it because your parents taught you to do so? Is it because praying is one of the disciplines of religion? What is the real intention behind your prayers? Do you pray to get something from God or do you pray to know and glorify the God of heaven? 
What is prayer all about? Before we discuss prayer, meditate on God the Supreme Being to whom we direct our prayers. Who is He? He is the Creator of all life, the Savior of the world, and the Sustainer of our lives. He is the Potter who molds us, the Shepherd who watches over us, the Bridegroom who redeems us, the Architect who rebuilds us, the Victor who delivers us, and the Physician who heals us. He revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, saving us from our sins. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to strengthen us for daily living. He is the Great I AM, the personal God that knows our every need. He is faithful and true. So if God embodies all the above characteristics, if those attributes describe Him, why do we continually ask Him in prayer to give us things He’s already given? He won the victory over all things, so why don’t we ask Him in prayer how we can better serve Him and bring Him glory?  
Elijah prayed a prayer that promoted worship and honor to God. He desired to be a conduit through which the powers of God would be seen and His glory displayed. Read about the experience in 1 Kings 18 and focus on verses 36-37. They read:
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”  (NIV)
In his flesh, Elijah probably wanted people to know that he was right about the God of all creation; he might have yearned for vindication. In his spirit, he desired to bring glory to God; he wanted God to validate His worth and cause people to praise Him. He sought after the revelation of the glory of God.
I know as MPs we long for the deliverance of our children, possibly even ourselves, and our prayers reflect that desire. Our prayers aren’t wrong, but they may be a bit off-balance.. We need to take our eyes off our own circumstances and the solutions, and focus on God the Deliverer and His glory. God has already won the victory over Satan at the cross. All we need to do is pray believing that our Victor has given us victory in Christ. We need to pray that what we know about God will be known in all the earth, and we need to ask how we can be a part of bringing glory to His Name in our homes, churches, schools, communities, and cities. 
So what is prayer? It is lifting up our praises to the God of glory and asking that His victorious will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Ask God to fill your heart with a longing to see Him glorified in your situation. You might even ask, “How can I help?” Pray the prayer of Elijah, crave God’s glory, and believe He is who He says He is! Your prayer of worship will be answered because you will have touched the heart of God, and His glory will fill your surroundings.
Answer us, O Lord, so the people around us will know that you are God. Turn their hearts back to You, and to You we give all honor and praise. We pray believing in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

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