Do You Know What Prayer Isn’t?
Introduction to the 30 Thousand Foot Prayer – Part 7
What is prayer? Let’s turn this around; sometimes it just works better to say what something isn’t. For you to understand prayer, it’s equally important to understand what prayer is not. Ordinary habits have us doing things that are not prayer as if it were a prayer. If that’s the case most (51% or more) will think they’ve prayed and communicated with God but have not. Isn’t that interesting? It’s time to sit up in your seat for this one, because you may be a pray-er-not.
What prayer is not?
Prayer is not you reciting a prayer and repeating it to God. You might as well just give it to Him and let Him read it off to you. It’s not those recited prayers we discussed previously. It’s not a speech written to prove how well you write and speak. Prayer isn’t you going to God with all that you are not. I bet I need to explain that statement. I often say that when we put on our masks of everyday living, we hide who we are and present to others who we are not. In the same way, we tend to go to God in prayer and try to dress up. This is pointless as God sees through any fixing up we can ever do.
The official term for such actions or a person who acts this way is called “hypocrite.” A hypocrite is one who pretends. It’s a person who puts on the mask.
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites [pretenders] who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.” – bible.com/116/mat.6.5.nlt
Tell the truth, why don’t you, you’ve seen this prayer-pretender in action. If you’ve gone to church for any length of time, you’ll run into a pretender. You need to know this. It’s this pretender who’s brought these ordinary actions into our lives and thusly reducing our prayer results. Let’s stop pretending and stop the pretenders. Our answered prayers are at stake, y’all. Prayer isn’t you trying to get God to see it and do it your way.
Prayer is not communicating with God. You can communicate with God without offering prayer, but you can’t pray without communicating with God. No one has told you this, but people like Moses and Abraham spoke with God regularly and the Bible notes this. It also mentioned that they would pray. What that means is that there is a significant difference between offering prayer and communicating with God. This is important to note, some of us are talking at God without actually offering any prayer. And on other occasions we’re offering prayer, but never talking to God. I’m afraid this is not going to work and you’ve experienced it not working, so you know what I’m saying is right on point.
Prayer doesn’t take all that.
I think I need an example to explain myself here. Let’s talk about how the religious churchie folk pray.
This will require me to reflect back… I entered church many days the same way each time. We were always early because as a family we’re always involved. In fact, it’s what we do, build the church. Our family has worked behind the scenes to build church for as long as I can remember. Back to the lesson, when the service started, the deacons would take their places up front for devotion. They’d kneel and take turns reciting their best prayer. I know it was recited because as children we could recite the words ourselves and anticipate its ending. In fact, I bet I could do it better than they could. (I probably could have left that out.) I hate to tell you (not really) this wasn’t prayer. In fact the Bible doesn’t offer what we see followed as prayer, inside the church. Go figure. The Bible doesn’t say recite the prayers you’ve heard recited as prayer in your church. This was all for show. (Let me offer a prayer up to God asking not to allow that to offend anyone.) Here’s why.
Praying to be seen doesn’t get prayers answered.
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward [responses] they will ever get.” – bible.com/116/mat.6.5.nlt
Babbling prayers don’t get answered.
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.” – bible.com/116/mat.6.7.nlt
It’s good to know what prayer is not.
The impacts such ordinary actions have when we offer prayer to God
It’s our ordinary habits that stand in the way of us getting the result we desire when we pray.
Changing your voice when you pray is an indication that your prayer will not be answered.
Reciting a prayer you’ve memorized won’t get your prayers answered.
Quoting scripture back at God doesn’t constitute as prayer either.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He never said that they needed to know scripture to get the job done. In fact, He implied that they only needed to know God as their father. Ordinary behaviors seen as prayer won’t get you the results that uncommon prayer will get you. Prayer just doesn’t work that way and I’m afraid we’ve all fallen prey to it. Thank God for NoLongerCommon.com. This is where it all changes. We will no longer tolerate normal, average, like everyone else, action, specifically when it comes to talking with God. We are no longer going to allow the ordinary practices we see everyday dictate the results (or lack of results) we receive when it comes to the exercise of prayer.
Understanding what something is not is as important as knowing what it is. Prayer is not what you’ve seen demonstrated in most cases. This explains why it doesn’t work in most cases. Prayer doesn’t take all that. It doesn’t take all the drama, the theatrics or the show. Those prayers don’t get answered. When we settle for praying prayers that are not prayers, not only are we common, we’re not going to get many answers nor expect any.
Open your eyes to see the prayers that aren’t prayers so that you can avoid this common trap. Ask yourself, what is prayer not?
Thanks for visiting NoLongerCommon.com, share this with someone who can use it. Prayer doesn’t take all that!