Three Myths About Prayer

In everything by prayer and supplication . . . let your requests be made known to God.
–Philippians 4:6

Praying consistently is difficult. But here is the balancing truth: praying effectively is simple.

Too often, we think we have to have everything just right in order to pray powerfully. For example, some people believe unless you devote an hour or two every morning to prayer, you cannot pray effectively. But I think about the battle on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18 between God and the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal pleaded with their god from noon until the time of the evening sacrifice. Then Elijah stood up and said a brief prayer, and the fire of God fell from heaven. Do not confuse the length of your prayers with the strength of your prayers.

Some people assume to pray effectively, you cannot pray for selfish things. But think about the apostle Peter in Matthew 14. When he was sinking in the sea of Galilee, what did he pray? “Lord, save me!” (v. 30). There could not be a more selfish prayer than that. Yet the Lord reached out and lifted Peter up. Get rid of this idea that you cannot pray for the things you want.

Other people think they are not in a position to pray until they fully believe God will do what they ask. Let’s dispel that myth by looking at Acts 12. Peter was in jail for preaching the gospel, so the Christians in Jerusalem gathered together to pray for their pastor. As they prayed, an angel appeared to Peter and released him from prison, and he went to the house where everybody was gathered. Verses 13-14 say, “When [Peter] knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate.” Rhoda was so excited that she left Peter standing there and ran in to where the others were praying, “Lord, please release our pastor.” But when she announced that Peter was standing out front, what did they say to her? “You are out of your mind!” (v.15). In their hearts, they were not convinced God could answer their prayer. Guess what? He had answered it anyway. God’s answer to your prayers does not depend upon the amount of faith you have. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 if you have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, you can still move mountains.

Get rid of this idea that you cannot pray if you do not have an hour to pray or if you have a selfish request or if you do not have enough faith. In Philippians 4:6, Paul said, “In everything by prayer and supplication . . . let your requests be made known to God.” Pray about anything and everything that is in your heart. Why is that? Look at Matthew 6:8: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” You can be honest with God because He already knows what is in your heart–and more important, He knows what you really need.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power Of Faith-Kneeling” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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