A Limited View of Prayer

Three Concepts to Loosen the Limits of Prayer

Talking to God and Prayer – Part 1

When I introduced the concept of next level prayer in a group, one of the expectations set by the group was for a deeper desire for the presence of God. While that sounds really deeply spiritual and all, what does that really mean? Could you describe what that looks like? More importantly what character in Bible history can we point to that displays this deeper desire for God’s presence so we can model? You see, in order to take prayer (or anything for that matter) to the next level, we must get clear and even specific about what we mean. Most people tend to answer questions about their faith based on how they think others in the faith would expect us to answer. Listen to the words used in our expectation.
A deeper desire. How about just a desire?
The presence of God. Are we saying we’re not currently experiencing the presence of God? Or are we lacking His presence?

Another expectation that arose was for better communication with God. It is such expectations that brings me to this next topic in the next level prayer theme, “Talking to God and Prayer.”

It is easy to generalize prayer, but there are a few problems we encounter when we do so. To help you see the problem, we will ask the question, did Adam pray?

I’m not sure why people hesitate in answering this question, but then again I am sure. No one wants to say that Adam didn’t pray because we all know that Adam talked with God directly. Secondly most don’t want to say He did pray because Adam’s prayer doesn’t match the concept of prayer as we know it. In other words, Adam didn’t pray like we pray which would imply that our definition of the word and action may be off. This would also imply that maybe we don’t know what we’re doing when we pray.

The reason this question is important is because what I realized in studying Adam and more so Moses is they talked to God with regularity. Adam walked in company with God, who he could see and Moses spoke with God whom he could not see. The scripture says Moses spoke with, asked questions of, and even argued his case with God. Often it reads, “and God said to Moses” and then at other times Moses prayed. Could there be a difference between talking to God and prayer?

“You can talk to God without praying, but you can’t pray without talking to God.”

I use this quote in this series that will help. I share it now so that you can get an idea of where this is headed and give you a head start.

Previously, I shared a story about me talking to God like He was a passenger in my car. It’s this story that reveals how next level prayer was started in me. That illustration had to do with me praying to God as if he was seated beside me while driving in my car. Have you given the practice of speaking with God as if He were up close and personal with you, a try? Have you invited God into your car with you to take a drive? Have you asked Him to take your hand and go for a walk? Have you invited Him to have coffee with you at your favorite coffee shop? Have you ever asked God to watch a movie with you? This is next level prayer.

In this series of messages we’re calling “Talking to God and Prayer”, I wish to introduce you to three concepts so that you can understand that there is more to prayer and help you answer the question without hesitation, did Adam pray?”

  1. Let’s define prayer.
    This first bullet says let’s define prayer, but in actuality we will not only define prayer, but redefine prayer. You see, the thing that keeps one at their current level, first starts with how the activity is defined. One’s current view of prayer is limited only by how one views it, no different than what you think of God defines how you interact with Him.
  2. Knowing God is key.
    Could it be that what you know of God might also limit what you think you can and can not say to Him? If you don’t know a person well, then your conversation with that person is limited and requires a great amount of interaction in order for you to get to know a person. In the same way, talking to God is not much different. Talking to God gives you an opportunity to get to know Him. Here’s a question one might ponder, do I Know God well enough to start a conversation with Him?
  3. Is there a difference between talking to God and praying?
    This phrase may sound a little weird because most (51% or more) define prayer as talking to God or having a conversation with Him. But what if talking to God and praying aren’t the same? This would open up a lot of discussion because it could mean we’ve missed out on something. More importantly it would reveal that there really is a next level in prayer.

This is my favorite segment in teaching on the topic of prayer. Most (51% or more) have never considered this before and what’s more interesting is that it occurs often in scripture. What we currently know of prayer is so limited. Because what we know is limited, all we desire to do is peel back the lid so that you can see more into prayer than you’ve ever seen before. This is next level prayer!

Question: What would happen if we viewed prayer not by our own definitions but rather by what the Bible reveals to us?

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