Sunday, April 26, 2009

God is not Deaf

"You never once hear Jesus condemning short prayers. But you do see him condemning long prayers". - Joseph Prince

He doesn't mean long prayers are bad, but unless they are from your heart, they are mindless ramblings in an effort to try to feel as though God really hears you.

Or it could even be about you praying in front of other believers at a bible study or a prayer meeting. Don't feel pressured to say all sorts of things if you don't know what to say. Just say what you want, and if they don't like how short it is, well, tough.

If they want something else said, let them say it.

Don't ever feel as though you have to make God hear you. You don't need to 'pray hard'. You can pray passionately from your heart to be sure, but making long, drawn out prayers in an effort to get God to answer you is absolutely stupid and Jesus said his Father doesn't appreciate it.

Really, guys. He isn't deaf. I'm sure his ears work a lot better than ours do.

6 comments:

Gary Kirkham said...

Hi Matt,

I have never been much for praying in or for a large group. I know of others who don't seem to mind and give long, "flowery" prayers. I often get the feeling they are performing for others and not talking to God. Maybe that is just the cynic in me. If I am asked to pray out loud, it is generally short and to the point. I hope that others don't think I am not "spiritual" because I don't perform well for others :)

I do love to pray. I have a good time praying during my quiet times and through out the day. I also will pray with others one-on-one when I feel led to do so and I enjoy that. I guess that is the key, I have never felt led by God to pray for a large group of people as a whole. I think prayer is more personal than that. Not that I am saying that leading a group in prayer is wrong...I guess, as you say, motive is everything.

Bottom line, I hate praying when it is expected or asked of me. When it happens, I usually mouth some words that are not from my heart and I hate that too.

Gary

Matthew Campbell said...

Gary,

I can get cynical of Christians very easily. So I know what you mean.

But yes, I hate praying when people expect me to. I don't pray in front of people, still. I prayed one on one with my mom once and it was awkward. I felt like she was thinking of me what the people in Jesus' home town thought about him when he began his ministry. Basically thoughts like, "Who do you think YOU are acting like that?"

I know praying for people is a good thing, but right now, I'm not willing to do it. It always feels forced and I don't like it. Maybe one day I can just pray to the Father andn ot people. Until then, I refuse to do it. If I ain't gonna be talkin' to God, then why do it?

But prayer is one of our most precious gifts. Being outside late at night in the Spring, when everything is brisk and the sky is so clear...

That is the best time to pray. I can smell the honey suckles and apple blossoms so good with the breeze lightly blowing. Sometimes you wish you could hang onto those moments forever and take full advantage of them. It's times like those when my heart burns and words just don't exactly do your heart justice.

Frank said...

Some of my best prayers are just, "ok God, you're right I'm wrong." or "ok Lord, I agree with you".

I have long felt that we miss the point of prayer. We can unfortunately just consider it a shopping list, when all the Lord wants is our agreement spoken out loud so as he can get to work on some aspect of our lives.

This is revealed in Romans 10v9&10. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thy heart that God has raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

These two verses are frequently misused as an entry prayer for a new believer, when in fact they were clearly addressed to the saints at Rome. Salvation was never just about going to heaven when you die, but the activity of God on our behalf in this life.

The point being that we can believe in our hearts what God says, which truly establishes righteousness there, but it is the speaking out from the mouth in agreement with God which changes that inner righteousness into an action which God does on our behalf to save and deliver us in a given situation.

ie. I have trouble at work. I therefore start to proclaim, out of my mouth, what I already believe in my heart (that Jesus is Lord over the situation). This confession is the key which releases God to act on my behalf.

Having walked this way in all areas of my life, constantly confessing his reign over all that happens for maybe 20 years, I can guarantee that his reign really changes things.

More than any other thing, I love to declare with my voice, to the principalities and powers, that he alone is Lord of all.

Matthew Campbell said...

Not sure I agree with you on that interpretation, Frank, but it's interesting input nonetheless.

Feel free to comment anytime, bro. :)

Gary Kirkham said...

Hey Matt, What's the story behind the eyeball? It kind of startled me...I was thinking "is this the right place?"

:)

Matthew Campbell said...

It was an experiment. I didn't like it. It was too large on 600x800 display settings. My computer is set really high, so it's a lot smaller on mine.