Do you have a prayer life that is not as powerful and passionate as you think it should be? We pray to the God, Creator and Master of our universe; the One that has the greatest power in His hands and the greatest love in His heart, but we don’t pray frequently enough. We have been so far from where God intended us to be on this subject, and so tainted in our view of what Scriptures mean about prayer that we have missed the boat entirely. Isaiah 58:1-11: Isaiah is talking to the people of Judah just before they have become so unrighteous that God gives them over to defeat and exile in Babylon. He warns them that even though they think they are interested in God and His ways, and they think they are humble and righteous, they in fact are selfish and harsh in their ways; they have forsaken being kind to each other and they don’t reach out to love or care for anyone else.
We see Scriptures as being okay with leading selfish lives, as we ask for blessing after blessing and have no burning desire from God to help, serve or save anyone. But God is still willing to do far more than we ever hoped or thought He would. We have missed the purpose and ways of truly serving Him that we have not been able to see his Hand moving. Learning to grow in prayer is so much easier than you would think! We complicate matters with our theological steps and our desire to create excuses for why God is different than He used to be, in order to cover our own lack of desire and love. James 4:3: we ask for things that make perfect sense to us, but are in fact selfish and dangerous, or hurtful and unfair to others. We don’t understand why He doesn’t give us what we want if He loves us. As we grow, we know He must have a reason for not ‘answering’; we learn to appreciate His ways so that we will take what He gives us and use it in a way that would make Him proud; and we ask more responsibly, based on our knowledge and love for Him. John 14:12-14; 1 John 5:14-15: He becomes more generous in giving because He knows we will use what He gives us in a good way, and we are asking for the right reasons.
Unfortunately, many of us still haven’t grown and become responsible people in the Kingdom of God. We are still living according to the immaturity of the world. The main focus of prayer is to glorify God and to bring others into faith and love of Christ- no matter the cost. Psalm 37:4-5. We are too self-absorbed to ask or see what He may want us to accomplish, in His power. 2 Timothy 3:5. We will never become a shadow of what God wants in a radical church until we change the central focus completely. 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. The people of the Bible completely relied on God in prayer for guidance, power, provision, opportunity, strength and worship (basically everything). How can we do anything for God unless we follow in their steps? Jesus didn’t die so we would live a perfect, comfortable life; He died to have a chance to be close and intimate with us. There will come a time when you will be able to draw no closer to God until you talk intimately to the One you want to know more. Psalm63:1-8. There should be a desperation and passionate prayer for God’s presence and power. Prayer should be the center of what we do, not an addition to what we do. Matthew 14: Jesus was surrounded by thousands and being touched by hundreds, but one woman who touched Him (like all the others), got something completely different from Him: an answer in power, because of the desperation, love and expectation.