What Prayer Is Not

SSP Prayer Bulletin Reflection
February 4, 2015

How often have we asked ourselves these questions? … When should I pray? … What should I say? … Where should I pray? … Why should I pray? … Will my praying really make a difference? … and … What is prayer? By examining God’s Word, we can discover “what prayer is” and “what prayer is not”.

From my own experience, I know prayer doesn’t come naturally to most believers – for some, it is learned as it is modeled by others, taught, and put into practice. But we have Jesus as our perfect example for prayer, and it is my prayer that like Jesus, all of us will develop such a love relationship with our Heavenly Father that we will pray without ceasing as we bring glory to God and see Christ’s Kingdom work accomplished here on earth.

  • Prayer is not to be feared.

Prayer is living in the presence of God as we engage in intimate conversation with a Heavenly Father who is always pursuing a love relationship with His child. It is a means of intimate communion, fellowship, and dependence upon God the Father who has promised to work in and through us through His Son, just as God worked through Him.

  • Prayer is not primarily about you.

Prayer is focused on God, who He is and His desires. Approaching God must be on the basis of His nature and character. We must approach God with “godly fear and reverence” because of who He is (Hebrews 12:28-29). We can only pray when we know Him. God revealed Himself to His people through the revelation of His name. Yahweh (Jehovah) – God revealed Himself as the Lord our provider (Jireh), our healer (Ropheka), our banner (Nissi), our peace (Shalom), our shepherd (Rohi), our righterousness (Tsidkenu). Jehovah Shammah – the Lord is there.

  • Prayer is not having to wonder what to pray.

Prayer is listening to God speak through His Word and the Holy Spirit directing us to pray back to God His Words so His will is accomplished on earth as it has already been in Heaven.  The priority of prayer is the will of God. It’s a means  of claiming God’s promises and knowing and becoming abandoned to God’s will.

  • Prayer is not about giving God a wish list of wants, nor is it not an “Aladdin’s lamp” where we can rub ever so often to let the genie out to grant us our wish.

Prayer is a moment by moment trusting and believing that God knows what is best for us in every situation. He wants us to depend on Him daily for our needs. But our first and foremost desire should be to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

  • Prayer is not passive.

Prayer is actively engaging in a battle against the enemy for souls and Christ’s Kingdom. Satan doesn’t want us to have an intimate love relationship with our Father. When we are identified with Christ, we become the enemy of Satan – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 Therefore, as a soldier in God’s army, let us stay alert in Spirit and persevere in prayer to set captives free from the enemy.

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