What If UR Wrong

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”

Søren Kierkegaard

Does God Answer Prayers?

by Mark Karapetyan

Some people believe that prayer is meaningless, and that God is not listening at all.  Others have tried to pray but feel that they got no answer.  Sometimes it does seem like our prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling. However, what we feel isn’t always the same as what’s really true.  Why at times does it appear that God ignores us when we pray to Him?

People actually lose their faith or abandon it all together because their prayers are not answered the way they want them to be.  One of the reasons most people never get results with prayer, is because they are seeking things not of God.  They pray for things that contradict God’s nature and character.

Most Christians live in an “I want it and I want it now” culture.  They treat God as some kind of a cosmic Santa Clause who gives goodies to the good people like you and me.  They believe that God gives health and healing but only to those of us who “have enough faith”.  Those Christians assume that God’s top priority is to answer prayers on demand.  Imagine your own children treating you that way?  Would you give them everything they ask for?

When it comes to prayer, Christians can’t seem to understand that God ALONE, controls the outcome of any prayer.  Not the Pope, not the church, not the pastor, and not the person who prays.  It is also with the “health-and-wealth” pseudo-gospel where the church or the believer ‘prays’ with the attitude of a puppeteer: pull the string, and God’s hand stretches out to send forth a blessing. Plant a seed and God will gladly pay you back tenfold. Do this and God will do that.  Many people actually believe that to get anything from God, they must give money to charlatans masquerading as pastors and evangelists to finance their multi-million dollar entertainment facilities they call churches and their lavish lifestyles. They think they have to pay for gifts from God as in “sowing seeds.”  That’s Heresy !  [1]

God is not a genie in a lamp; our wish is not His command. He does not cater to our every whim.  If we are asking anything from God, we are to be asking, not putting in a 1-800 call to a divine telemarketing service or clicking our mouse to reach a multi-level marketeer in some level of heaven. (God doesn’t outsource divine attention. God receives your call direct.) God is bigger than you, so don’t go bossing God around.  [2]

Prayer is more than saying “God, I want a new job, a nicer car, a cute husband/wife, and a huge house. Okay? Thank you God, I love you.” 

Most of us Christians, assume that prayer is a laundry list; It is not !  It is communication with the creator of the universe. Therefore, don’t ask only when you want something, and then stop asking when you do not receive.  How would you feel when people ONLY come to you when they want or need something?

Sadly, many churches teach that every little materialistic thing we want is just a prayer away.  They teach prayer as a power or force directed at God of which He is then forced to respond.  Blab it and grab it, or name it and claim it.  Well, that is not the way it works with Him.  He does not want us to spend our time with Him rambling on about the things we want or need.   He doesn’t want our want lists, He wants our hearts.  [3]

 

How to Pray?

The world is full of so-called ‘prayer warriors’ who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God.  Don’t fall for that nonsense.  This is God you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need.  With God, you can pray very simply.  [4]

Does it irritate you, as it does me, when people send out the call for “prayer warriors” when someone has fallen ill?  They sound an alarm, a kind of call to arms as it were, asking for as many people to pray as possible — as if, by getting more prayers they have a greater chance at being heard or getting healed.   As if, by having many people praying, their army is consequently bigger than whatever may be resisting the answer they seek.

What nonsense to think that God only gets turned on to my needs, and so responds, when I get enough people praying for help.  It is absurdity and it has nothing to do with spirituality or real prayer.  [5]

Too often, Christians turn prayer into a lifeless string of overused spiritual expressions—fluffy words we’ve all heard a million times in church services, during Sunday school, and countless Bible studies.  They’re meaningless to us, and they’re often meaningless to God.

Prayer isn’t a show, but we often turn it into one.  We deepen our voice, fold our hands, jump up and down like lunatics and mimic the process we’ve seen others perform countless times before us.  For many, it’s easier to reuse old clichés than it is to be vulnerable, open, and transparent.  Mindlessly spewing familiar anecdotes to God is often an escape mechanism—a way for us to hide our sin, our fears, and withdraw from relational conflict. Jesus on the other hand, wants us to cut straight to the truth no matter how hard or messy that might be.  [6]

It is a mistake to think that God rewards our praying efforts.  Jesus said the pagans pray LONG PRAYERS thinking they will be heard for THEIR MANY WORDS.  Don’t be like them.  Instead, have faith in a good God who does not need to be begged or cajoled into blessing His children.

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the pagans, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.”  Matthew 6:7 

It is amazing that many times, prayer devolves into a wish list—things we want from God.  Sure, the requests are often legitimate—safety, healing, reconciliation, peace, happiness, and wisdom (among other things)—but we need to intentionally remember to use prayer as a form of worship and thanksgiving to God.

Prayer is such an intimate means of communication.  You don’t have to get on your knees every time.  He can still hear you if you are walking down a hallway at work.  You don’t have to bow your head and close your eyes. You can’t do that while driving anyway.  You don’t have to pray loudly because God is not deaf.   Nor do your prayers have to be long because that is how the ministers at church do it.   Elijah prayed 63 words and fire came down from heaven.  Your prayer doesn’t have to start with ‘Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God that brought the Israelites across the Red Sea.’  Is that how you talk to your best friend or father?   You show reverence, but you don’t have to talk to God like He is distant because He isn’t.  [7]

Far too often, prayer is viewed as a “magic formula.” Some believe that if we do not say exactly the right things, or pray in the right position, God will not hear and answer our prayer.  This is completely unbiblical.  God does not answer our prayers based on when we pray, where we are, what position our body is in, or in what order we word our prayers. [8]  In my opinion, there is only one wrong way of praying-not praying at all.

God doesn’t want to hear memorized prayers that someone else wrote.  He wants to hear your prayers coming in your own words and coming straight from your very own heart.  You need to talk to God as if He were your very best friend, because He is.  Your prayers should come from your heart and should be a conversation between you and God. [9]

Some people wonder why God doesn’t always answer their prayers.  The fact is, God does answer prayer.   In fact, God answers every prayer.   If you think about it though, you can understand why He doesn’t answer every prayer with a “Yes,” immediately.  Some of the things you may be frustrated about right now, ten years from now you will look back at and thank God for not answering that prayer the way you wanted or for not opening up that door.  You may not be able to see it right now, but that’s what faith is all about.  Why don’t you trust God? Believe that He has you in the palm of His hand and know that when it comes time for God to open a door, no man can keep it shut. No obstacle is too high.  Your enemies may be powerful, but our God is all-powerful.  When God says it’s time to promote you, you are going to be promoted.  The good news is that your promotion will not be one second late.  Suddenly, God can turn any situation around.  Suddenly, God can cause a door to open.   All it takes is one touch of God’s favor. [10]


In conclusion, here’s my advice to you:

Don’t pray to stone statues, false gods or idols. Pray to the only true God in Heaven, the Great I AM.

Pray to the Father, with the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus.

Pray that God’s word reaches every home and every family all around the world.

Avoid praying for personal selfish desires, but pray that God’s will for you is done.

Pray for your daily bread only, and be satisfied and content with what He gives you to eat.  Forget tomorrow.

Pray that God will give you the opportunity to forgive others as He has forgiven you.  Pray for your friends as well as your enemies.

Pray for a way out of temptation, and remember that God doesn’t tempt anyone.

Pray that God delivers you from the evil one; and “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

 

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
Luke 11:2-4

 

 

[1] Christia.net/ wrong way to pray
[2] SpiritHome.com/PrayerGoneWrong
[3] SheryyShriner/Teach Me How To Pray
[4] Encouraged in Heart/Steph Fink
[5] What’s wrong with our prayers/Steve MsSwain
[6] RedLetterChristians/Stephen Mattson-6Bad Prayer Habits
[7] TheWade-Oradio Show-Rasheda
[8] Gotquestions.org/How to Pray?
[9] Robert Wells.Tripod.com/The Right Way To Pray
[10] 2016 Simon & Schuster Inc., a CBS Company /Tips on Life & Love

 

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mark@whatifurwrong.com

 

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