Thursday, August 4, 2011

Prayer is an Invitation for Realignment

Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven
(Matt 6:9-10).

An excellent clarification of the purpose of prayer from Michael Lawrence in How Prayer Transforms Prep:
We live in a culture and age that values self-expression above all else. When we pray, we're keeping it real with God; we're telling him what's on our mind, what we're concerned about, or what we need. And that's a problem, because in Scripture pouring out our hearts to God is never the essential point of prayer. The point of prayer is realignment, as our hearts assume a posture of dependence and humility before God. Prayer places our needs in the perspective of God's sufficiency, our problems in the perspective of his sovereignty, and our desires in the perspective of his will. Prayer is not a monologue. Rather, prayer invites God to have the last word with us, and for his Word to shape and define us.
Read the entire article here.

What a necessary clarification! Prayer is not "keeping it real with God." Even a cursory reading of the Psalms and other biblical prayers demonstrate that these men were not just pouring-out their hearts. They were - as we are thereby instructed - realigning themselves under God in prayer. It truly is an invitation for Him to shape us.

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