Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I am confident that when most of us ask God for something we're very serious about it. We SO want that person to be healed, a friend's marriage to be restored or someone in our church to receive comfort. We passionately desire our children to be godly, our relationships to be whole and our unbelieving friend to know Christ.
However, there are times when in our praying we may be trying a bit too hard and we start to add some of our own extras that God really doesn't need and that won't get us extra results. Let me suggest a few cautions:
Don't talk louder. Some people even like to yell. I've heard pastors especially in their passion imply that talking to God with higher volume will get a greater response. I doubt it. If anything it just scares people and certainly isn't suggested in the Word. They may mean well or be overcome with concern but perhaps it should not be the norm. I don't want my kids yelling at me when they want something, do you? Does God?
Don't pray longer. Yes, we need to spend time in God's presence but I'm pretty sure that God looks at the intent and purity of our heart more than the length of our prayer. He wants time with us, for sure, but isn't likely interested in long lengthy descriptions of the needs that He knows even before we ask HIm.
Don't use bigger words. I've heard many pastors who literally change their vocabulary once they start to pray, focusing on five dollar words and lofty spiritual language. But I have a hunch that God views prayer as more of a conversation and won't change his response if we just step up our terms.
Don't demand from God. We love to claim, count on and cajole things from God when prayer is to be more about a conversation with the Father, coming into agreement and fellowship with Him about what He knows is best. Does God answer specific requests? Or course, He does, but He also gives us gifts as His children, not as union workers who require a pay raise because we were sure it was promised to us.
Don't bargain with God. I travel overseas a good bit and know there are places where we can wheel and deal with vendors about souvenirs and gifts. It's OK, normal and expected there. But not in Heaven. God isn't in the bargaining business even though He loves us more than we can know. We're better to "make our requests known unto God," and then rest in the peace of God promised as well in Philippians 4.
Passionate about praying? Good for you. Don't quit. Just make sure you're not trying too hard to make something happen. That's up to God.