Sunday, May 17, 2009

The What, Why, How, Purpose,and Meaning of Prayer: Part 1

Today, Pastor Steve DeNeff talked about prayer, specifically prayer in the Spirit. And it got me thinking. So, this week I want to focus and meditate on prayer. Though I don't really understand prayer, in all honesty, I do want to dive into it this week and see where I come out. And to make sure I don't forget any thoughts or revelations I receive, I want to record how everything goes with prayer this week. First, my initial thoughts and perceptions about prayer. Some are original and some are stolen/borrowed. All are hopefully based upon Scripture. Ok, here we go.

Prayer. What a concept! What a gift! As I heard Dwight Knight say, prayer is the conversation between God and a subordinate. Interesting, I know. From that definition, Jesus never prayed. Technically. Rather, Jesus conversed and talked to His Abba Father but never prayed. I know to some that may sound like heresy because our translations of the Bible flat out say that Jesus prayed. Just so you know I really don't know I how feel about what Dwight said but it is an interesting idea, wouldn't you say? And maybe he's onto something. Who knows? Just think about it.

Next. What if prayer is more about us than about God? Believe me, I know and recognize the importance of praying to God and making a joyful noise to the Lord. I know about how important it is to live your life as a prayer, as the euphemism goes. I get that and I certainly think that is important. However, what if the purpose of prayer is primarily for us? Let me explain briefly. Maybe God created the concept of prayer for us because we humans have two basic needs: relationship and ultimate purpose. People like to talk. Especially about themselves or other people. And people also need to feel like there is something bigger than them out there. We need to feel like we are important and our lives are not entirely in our control, even if we want it to be sometimes. We want to believe that there's Something else out there. So, maybe God created prayer because we need to talk to our Creator. Maybe God created prayer for us to cast all of our worries, frustrations, concerns, and joys upon Him. Maybe He created prayer so that we can experience a glimpse of our future relationship with him in a way we can understand and enjoy. Maybe.

One more. I heard this from a sermon John Piper gave on prayer. To pray without ceasing to him meant to leave your cell phone or AIM screenname on at all times. That way, you can receive or send a message at all times. Thus, may I never stop praying. Why would I want to anyways? I have an open connection with my Father, the Creator of the Universe, who I love with all that I am. Why wouldn't I take advantage of that? And even still, His Spirit talks to Him too on my behalf. Those things I can't express or put into words, the Holy Spirit takes care of it and tells the Father. So, may I continually pray in the Spirit because, after all, as Paul said, I have no idea what I am supposed to pray for. Grace and Peace.

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