The Limits of Prayer

Surely there are no limits to what we ask for in prayer? You just imagine the Ferrari, or the healing, or the windfall, or the girlfriend, or the job, or the husband in front of you, and the ‘power of attraction’ will bring it to you right? Hmm… I’ve always been sceptical of this kind of thinking which is often called ‘new age’ doctrine but which in fact was the problem way back in the garden. “And ye shall be as Gods” were the  famous words of the serpent.

Then to complicate things we have from God himself; “And you shall do things even greater than I” – Jesus’ famous words, and I believe every word he spoke. This was a man we know we can trust in 100% from what came out of his mouth. And to make prayer even more difficult to understand we have also been promised a blank check book for the kingdom of God!

But are there any limits to this check book for Heaven Ltd? Yes I believe there are according to David Pawson. I think he is right when he says; we must only ask for that which glorifies the father. The thinking should always be; “how will the Father glorify himself in this prayer request and what should I ask for in light of that?”

Mr Pawson – old school preacher that he may be, is as ever bang on the money – no pun intended! No name it and claim it or your best life now clap-trap. No having to know some secret – as if a loving God of the universe would keep anything desperately needed a secret from those that love him, as many of us are often subconsciously taught by modern new-age quasi-Christian books and churches.

Would a loving God require us to say a set of spell-like words or phrases with the correct spelling and pronunciation, as if He is sort of genie who would not help us if we said something imperfectly? Of course not. So what does he want from, and what are the real point of our prayers?

Well, as mentioned above David Pawson beautifully explains the reality of the real meaning of prayer, and clears away the fog of self, and of praying for personal gain, or praying for that of others even, none of which are necessarily wrong to pray for ultimately, but might and can often miss the whole point of prayer – namely to glorify Him.

Watch the video below for a proper explanation (unlike my garbled one) and better understanding of what we should ask really be asking for in prayer and why we should be doing it in the first place.

Does Prayer Work?

Work for what? Work for something that is in line with God’s will? – then yes every time bar none. Therefore you must seek to find his will before and when you pray. The Holy Sprit can help with that!

If you are praying for your own will – like a genie in a bottle kind of thing – that is not inline with Gods’ – well be very careful as whilst he may not grant your wish (if you are staying under his council) – if you have decided to go your own way He just may very well grant you your wish and it may do you and others a lot of harm either now or later.

Always ask God FIRST before you pray to guide your prayers along His will – and remember how God speaks… God speaks in a small, still, quite voice!

Some Thoughts on Praying

I have noticed over the years that some of us Christians pray to God – others pray to Jesus – other pray to both. Why is that? Is it because we have not taken the time to realise that there might be a difference? Maybe – but in any case, because I believe Jesus was God incarnate – I don’t think in the grand scheme of things it is that important to our salvation to differentiate between God and Jesus – however – lots of small inconsistencies can lead to a general confusion (to us, other Christians learning/observing us and especially with unbelievers it is good to be consistent) and in the end undermine our faith as things don’t ‘hang’ or stick together coherently which they almost always do if you can get to the bottom of an issue. So I started thinking about this as I was another person who would one day pray to Jesus, and another pray to God etc – not really knowing if there was a difference.

I’m not going to try and give a ‘definitive’ answer as the Bible should do that. But I want to discuss my understanding of it. The first thing I looked at was how Jesus prayed and how he taught us to pray. First HE prayed to his father in heaven. Now we know that Jesus was God in perfect human form so why then don’t we just then pray to Jesus? I don’t think he would be upset with us for doing this as he says he says he intercedes on our behalf. But what did he say we should do? Surely he wouldn’t lie or get this wrong?

As we all know Jesus prayed to his father. But if he was God why did he bother praying at all?.. a daft question – not really as he was God.   Well he was God as he was fully possessed by God’s Holy Spirit and therefore God on earth. Yet he was fully human – a man – and it was the ‘man’ side of Jesus that like us was required by the father to pray to his father and ask the father – and he told us – also men and women also to pray; “Our Father..” But Jesus also taught us to “ask in my name and it shall be given.” Why would he do that?

One answer I considered might be that because we live in the word of a million ‘Gods’ – he therefore said when we ask God for something, to ask it in his name (I assume to differentiate between the real God that came to earth – the god of the bible – and not the five million other ‘Gods’ that people worship.

Last – another thing I wasn’t sure about for some time after I became a Christian which may be helpful to new Christians is: why pray at all if God knows our needs, thoughts and the beginning from the end? I assume the answer to that is because God wants us to take part in the salvation and healing of mankind ourselves on earth – he gives us the privilege of interceding for others and ourselves and seeing direct results – and as a result groing in faith – if we seek his will when we pray (not necessarily our desires) pray according to his will. Any thoughts welcome. God bless you all.

Why Bother Praying?

Thought for the day (my second actually:).

I never really understood the point in praying to a God that knows everything in advance. But now I know why we pray.. it is for the privilege of being involved in God’s divine master-plan for the world and everyone in it, and seeing those prayer requests in line with his incredible will for the world’s ultimate good come to pass, buidling our faith in his at the same time – that’s amazing! God bless everyone.