Any prayer has power. However, there are several prayers that cause God’s eyebrows to raise … that make him a bit uncomfortable. Watch out for these less than ideal prayers:
- “If You Can” prayers.
In Mark 9 Jesus meets a hurting father whose son is distressed by the devil. He pleads with Jesus: “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Mark 9:22,23 NLT To ask “Can You?” of the God to whom nothing is too hard (Jeremiah 32:27 NLT) is to question his omnipotence. Don’t pray prayers that belittle God!
- “Bringing God Up To Speed” prayers.
This kind of prayer boldly dismisses God’s omniscience … assumes we have knowledge that He needs to answer our prayer. You’ve heard prayers like this: “Lord, bless our all church picnic this Saturday the 14th from 10 am until 4 pm at Bennet Park, those whose last names are A through F bring salads …etc.” Your prayer doesn’t need to restate facts that will have nothing to do with an answer to that prayer. We don’t pray to impress God with our knowledge of all the facts. Actually we pray to let Him know how little we know about things we need more knowledge of.
- “Vague Generalities” prayers.
It’s pretty easy to pray “Lord, bless everyone everywhere in every way.” It takes little thought to do so. In addition, pray-ers of prayers without direction are less apt to be looking in the direction the answer will be coming. If you fail to ask for something specific you won’t know if and when the answer comes. And prayer becomes little more than spinning a prayer wheel. Make a list of your major prayer concerns and keep praying about those things until you begin to have answers to those requests. Your prayer life will never be the same.
- “1611 Language” prayers.
To many, the King James Version of the Bible is beautiful. It’s the Word they read and memorized from early in their lives. So to own and read from the King James Bible isn’t wrong, but it’s not necessary to speak to God in language that is over 400 years old. Including a ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ in prayer does not in any way give it more power. The real power in prayer comes from your heart and your personal relationship with the Father. As a matter of fact, Romans 8:26 tells us that God can even interpret groanings and sighs for He hears what our hearts are feeling.
This week throw out a line to God … not to pull anything from Him, but to pull yourself closer to Him. For the truth of the matter has always been, prayer is far more about relationship than it is about any technique or system. Relax and share your heart and needs honestly and with great confidence in your Father’s heart toward you.