Have you ever wanted something so bad that you lost the ability to receive it?
Maybe it was a promotion that you were pushing for and you had convinced your self that you were ready for. Then suddenly, the position opened up and you freaked out and ran the other direction.
What about in your prayer life? Is there something in your prayer life that you find yourself asking God for every day, yet have no intention of stepping into?
I think sometimes we forget why we are praying for something and we switch off to the fact that God wants to answer that prayer. Maybe you have been praying for a friend or relative to meet Jesus, but when the opportunity arises to have a conversation with them on a deeper level you shrink back.
So many Christians treat prayer as the goal.
3 goals for prayer?
# 1 Connection
The first and most important goal in prayer is to establish, cultivate and grow our relational connection with God. Every other goal in prayer is secondary. I belief our relationship with God affects every aspect of our life. The health of my relationship with my wife is dependant on my relationship with God. Prayer is an action that opens the door for connection, but it doesn’t guarantee connection. Connection with God happens on a heart to heart, spirit to spirit level, it cannot be faked or forced.
# 2 Worship and honour
Cultivating a healthy relationship with God opens the door for us to worship and honour him. We will never have a full grasp of just how worthy God is of our worship and honour. We don’t pray just to say that we can tell God that we have prayed. We pray so that we can honour God for being God, recognising that He is our creator, the author of our faith. We pray to worship and thereby discover a powerful God.
If we are not worshiping God, we disconnect ourselves from his power. It’s still available but we can’t find it separate to worship.
# 3 The answer
Thirdly, we pray because God told us He desires to answer our prayers! Whilst the goal of getting your prayers answered should never supersede relational connection or worship and honour, it mustn’t be ignored.
We often don’t talk about this because we don’t want to look selfish or prideful, but it is at times a false humility. We must remember a few things about the character of God! He is Good. He desires to work with and through you, and He gives good gifts to His children.
Prayer that has no intention of seeking an answer does not require a powerful God. We have a powerful God! Let’s treat Him like a powerful God! Our greatest act of worship isn’t to ask nothing of God, it’s to ask everything of Him from a position of humility.
Jesus told us to ask for anything in His name and promised He would do it!
How do we change our goal?
# 1 shift our focus from the asking to the giver
When we ask of God in prayer our focus still needs to be our relationship with Him. If you are asking for things in a way that is stopping love and connection to flow between you, then you have missed the goal and purpose for asking Him in the first place. Your focus needs to be on God, not on what you are asking for. Our asking flow’s out from the recognition that He is all powerful; I am not, yet He loves me deeply.
# 2 Be honest with yourself
Honestly evaluate your prayer life. It’s ok to discover weaknesses in yourself and what you do. In fact, there is freedom in accepting that you have weaknesses because then you can finally start to grow. Dr. Ray a Christian sociologist says “you must first admit where you’re at before you can leave where you’re at.”
You can learn more about setting the right goals in prayer from my previous blog Rhythm Vs Discipline
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