Prayer Journey, part 1

God, here we are.
       There aren’t a lot of us
       And there isn’t much to any of us.

You are driving us, 
       We’re trusting you to be in charge
       But could you give us a hint as to where we’re going?

When it comes to prayer, we sure can talk a good talk. Christians are always telling me that they will be praying for me or praying for this or that. Often, I am asked to prayer for perfect strangers. We do all of this because we know that as godly people, we’re supposed to pray.

As with so many other areas of my life, God has been using crisis to highlight our need for something we have neglected. Our local church has been on a financial decline for sometime now, and we’ve done what we can to keep the decline from becoming a free fall, but we have really hit the ‘make or break’ moment. And so we come to the topic of prayer.

Because I grew up in church, I really have no use for typical Christian laundry list prayers. As soon as someone starts repeating Lord as a vocalized pause or invokes the adverb just in more than one declaration (“Jesus, we just want to do your will” or “We’re just trying to find your will”), I lose interest. Biblically, the Holy Spirit can take their words and turn them into a real prayer [Romans 8:26], but that doesn’t mean it is the way we should pray.

I also cannot stand the formulaic openings and closings of most prayers. When someone starts a prayer with “Dear Jesus”, I cannot help but wonder if they realize who they’re talking to. We don’t start conversations with our fathers or spouses with Dear ____. We treat the President of the United States of America with more respect than that. And why do most prayers end with In-Jesus-Name-Amen?

The next few posts on the blog are going to be addressing the topic of prayer. How should we pray? What should we say when we pray? Who should we pray for? What should we pray?

We will try to address these questions and more.

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