Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
If you work in prayer or prayer ministry, as I do, you get asked that question a lot, in one form or another. People ask me weekly, “Will prayer really do any good?” In my book Threshold: Transformational Prayer, Transformational Prayer Leadership, I outline nine reasons to pray.
One of those reasons is given in this quote: “We are dead, lifeless, dry bones. But when we connect with Him, the sustainer and creator of life, the God of all, we receive life from Him, and we begin to truly live. So we pray—we should pray—in part because it is the way we bond with God and hear His voice, and also because it is the way we appropriate His life and power into our lives and into our churches.” *
What answers do you give when people ask you this same question, “Why pray?” We would all love to see them.
*page 15 of Transformation: Transformational Prayer; Transformational Prayer Leadership by Paul Covert available on Amazon or from Kindle.
Tweeted your post, hoping a few will respond to your good question above . . .
Paul, I have been greatly encouraged and challenged by your book. My greatest challenge is not thumping others on the head with it in an attempt to awaken the drowsy. It seems many of us speak the words of prayer in a monologue because we have a theology of God but lack a vibrant relationship with Him.
When I'm feeling flippant, I often reply to the question of "Why pray?" with "Why do you talk to your spouse?" My desire in saying this is to move people from a transactional view of prayer to a relational one.
A fuller explanation of the difference between a transactional and a relational view of prayer would be beneficial to many ... possible?
Phil (and anyone else who may benefit),
As I see it, transactional prayer is praying for things and receiving them. There is nothing at all wrong with this type of prayer -- it is essential. It is how children first interact with their parents -- they cry and from their parents they receive food and a fresh diaper. Transaction completed. Our first interactions with God are frequently this way -- we are unaware of all His wonderful attributes and His awe-inspiring kingdom plan. We just come to Him with a need and He meets us there. However, we can get stuck in this asking to receive level of prayer, and we think God exists to meet our needs. Can you imagine a 40 year old child who only talks to his parents when he wants something from them? Ugh.
Relational prayer is talking with God as our Abba about what is on His mind, and listening for His heart on a matter (or even letting Him set the agenda.) We no longer come to our Creator just to have our needs met. Instead, He has called us into the family business of kingdom and desires for His sons and daughters come into fellowship and partner with Him. Paul's paragraph above about connecting with God gives a beautiful description of relational prayer.
These types of prayer are not exclusive -- they intertwine seamlessly and you see them flow together in the Lord's Prayer: "Hallowed by Thy name" later followed by "Give us this day our daily bread." I've just observed a lot of my prayer seems to focus solely on bread.
Very helpful, good insights!
maybe the beginning of an article or teaching notes?