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Just Listen Son

September 8, 2011

For some reason prayer has become something I am very interested in understanding over the last year. I have had the privilege of being taught by some people who I would consider prayer warriors. These people have taught me a lot about prayer, but I have begun to wonder at a deeper level what is actually heard by God, and how really should we be doing this thing we call prayer.

The real question I have in my mind that I can’t grasp the significance of is corporate prayer. Every weekend tons of people are involved in corporate prayer. I meet with two groups each week to pray, but I am beginning to wonder about how effective it really is for what we pray about. We seem to use God like an eternal slot machine that is there to provide us with requests for whatever we deem necessary for our lives. Jesus doesn’t seem to address this message but once in scripture; actually, He seems to discount the corporate prayer thing. So is it just for show when a preacher prays on TV, radio or within his own congregation? For some of them I am sure their hearts are in the right place, but for others not so much, so are we doing what Jesus actually instructed us to do?

I am not just bashing the establishment. People ask me to pray for them all of the time. Sometimes I remember, but many times I have forgotten to do it. Then I lie to them when they ask have you been praying for me. Oh Yea! Every day I have been praying for you. Sound familiar?  I hate to admit that part, but it is true. I am not doing this anymore.

I have also seen a prayer chain of people (locked hands) with super strong faith heal someone who was really sick. It was amazing, but most people don’t believe it can happen, so it doesn’t happen much. They accuse you of being psycho to keep you in line. This part is sad because it seems to be something that we have the power to do if we just believe in it.

Prayer is really confusing. How do you do it? What is really effective?

I decided to go to the source.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This then is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”-Jesus

Why in the room (closet)? Why such few words? If God already knows, why bother?

Because he wants a relationship with you, He wants you to listen to Him. He wants your trust. I get it now God, “Just listen, Son”! Trust my will for your life.

I would love to hear your feedback on prayer.  Thanks for reading my stuff!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. KC Bruce permalink
    September 8, 2011 5:12 am

    I once read in a Bible commentary, that the word for “closet” is more like “pantry,” “storeroom,” or “warehouse.” It seems like Jesus was telling us to go to the place in thought where we already have what we need and pray from that standpoint. If you prayed as if you are already in the place where you have everything you need, you would truly be in that place where you would receive what you ask for. (Assuming of course that those things would be good for you to receive.) And prayers would be more like opportunities for gratitude rather then pleas for help.

    Lately, I have been asking God for less, as if He needs me to inform Him of what is best. More, I’ve been praying to see what His will is and to support that. I’ve been trying to get on His side of things more than I’ve been trying to convince Him to get on my side of things.

    I think there is a place for corporate prayer, but I believe the power of prayer is in the purity of the people praying, not in their numbers. I don’t really believe that prayer is or should be an attempt to change God, but it is a desire and willingness to be changed by Him. Jesus showed, and the book of James echoes, that the fervent prayer of a righteous man achieves much.

    Once I heard a story about a group of sailors whose ship was sunk in WWII off the coast of South America. After a day or two, they were really suffering because of a lack of fresh water. When they finally got picked up, their rescuers informed them that they were surrounded by fresh water, since they were in the Amazon river basin, and the fresh water went far out into the sea at that place. If even one sailor had realized that, there would have been enough water for everyone.

    I think prayer is like that. One person, divinely inspired, can provide the right answer for many–like Moses did with the water from the rock or the manna from heaven; or Jesus when he fed the crowds. If all the sailors had been praying for fresh water, even with all their hearts, they might have missed the fact that they already had more than enough; and it was completely surrounding them.

    • September 8, 2011 6:35 am

      I think that is where I have finally gotten to as well Bruce. I am praying for a lot less, and actually getting a lot more. Prayers really is much more about praise, and listening to his voice. Thanks for being one of the men who help me steer my life.

  2. Eric Herrington permalink
    September 8, 2011 5:43 am

    :)…..It is soo refreshing to see someone seeking to know God intimately and in a REAL way. These are the kind of daily conversations I have with God(Daddy). Jesus said a man would be a fool not to have a rich relationship with God. David told Solomon “Son, seek to know the God of your ancestors intimately.” He loves us and just wants a real relationship with us where we speak of our cares and He listens and we listen to the wisdom of our father….He speaks.

    • September 8, 2011 6:37 am

      It really is that simple. Take care Eric!

  3. Jorge Liceaga permalink
    September 8, 2011 6:34 am

    Mike, your observations are very child-like which is a very good thing as Jesus would testify. Childish is not good. I’m not sure about the corporate prayer part because there are references to “they” and “their” in regards to corporate praying in Acts and in the OT. But what got me going in your piece is the idea of what God hears and more importantly what we hear, do we hear?, if we hear what do we hear and how do we become better listeners. I just finished reading a book by Todd Burpo, “Heaven Is For Real,” in which he tells the account of his almost 4 y/o son that goes to heaven in the spirit and comes back telling us of his observations. One of the things that blew my mind is that God heard the angry rantings of a worried daddy for his baby boy. Reminded me of the rantings of Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump. It appears that in both instances, one non-fiction and the latter fiction, that God heard and said, more or less, I heard you and it’s gonna be alright, you’ll see, I know what you need. The Burpo story teaches alot about prayer and that was the biggest thing I got from their real-life story. There was a lot of praying, speaking, complaining in the OT that sounded very much like ranting and raving of madmen. He hears it all and rejects nothing that is from our hearts. He will however, I think, reject the show-off prayer-ese, pharisaical, rehearsed prayer that we often hear in church or even have practised ourselves. I have. That’s the false self that only exists in our imagination.

    • September 8, 2011 6:43 am

      I wonder sometimes Jorge if we put to much emphasis on situations that happened in another man’ s story in scripture, and not focusing more on what actually Jesus said for to us to do. The Bible for me has become much more about the faithfulness in men’s lives who turned things over to God and just went a long for the ride. I rant just like the mad man, until I get back to my prayer closet and realize my life is full. This walk with God is really a strange path. It seems almost to simple; I think that’s why we make it so complicated. Love your heart brother.

  4. September 8, 2011 7:26 am

    Mike, Prayers at one time for me was very reactionary, very selfish and even a time of bargaining with God. I can honestly say that prayer was usually not in the picture unless there was a real need or a crisis. And for a long period there was silence with no prayer at all. Fast forward……my prayer now is relational, a time to talk with God. I believe he wants to hear our frustrations, our heartbreak, and especially our thanks and praise. He already knows, but he wants to hear it from me, from you, from each and every one of us on a personal level. Good stuff brother, keep it coming.

    • September 8, 2011 7:42 am

      Thanks Jack. If you knew how hard it was to get this post out you would be more amazed. My computer died Tuesday, so everything I am doing is web based. Share on your facebook page if you can. I am not reaching my normal crowd today.

  5. September 8, 2011 7:44 am

    I don’t ‘ask’ for anything, except for the ability to do God’s will. All of my hopes are aimed at others, not me. I feel that prayer is a very private moment between you and God. I can’t contact God through the words of another.

    • September 8, 2011 8:12 am

      I think it is okay to ask, but is not okay to ask and then not listen. I think that is where we really screw it up. Sometimes unanswered prayers are actually answered prayers in disguise. Thanks Coop!

  6. jennygoth permalink
    September 8, 2011 12:25 pm

    i actually dont know whats classed as a prayer when im distressed i talk in my head and ask about things or plead sometimes but what is an actual prayer about xxjen

    • September 8, 2011 1:07 pm

      I personally think it is when you take the time to sit and pray to God in private, and listen to hear his voice through your heart. It is different than what we have been taught through religion.

  7. jennygoth permalink
    September 17, 2011 12:57 pm

    i think your right we can talk to him in our own way and i have done lots of times xxjen

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