Examining the Motives behind our Prayers
Turn to Romans 8
There are many different types of prayer: public, private, group, family, church, national,
confession, petition, intercession, fasting, short, long…
Let look at this scenario. Three-year-old girl, who loved to pray before meals, would sometimes get carried away. Occasionally her pastor father would have to say, “Amen. That’s enough, babe girl.” One Sunday in church, as a lengthy benediction was being pronounced, girl stood up and declared, “Amen. That’s enough, Daddy!”
I want us to think through what the Bible says about prayer. I’m not here to lay guilt on any of us about how long or loud we should pray. Fact is, God’s Word isn’t clear about those issues. Nor does it delineate when or what posture we are to use. But I wants to make sure that some things are very clear to us so we will understand:
• The PURPOSE of Prayer and…
• What our MOTIVES are when we pray.
I wants us to understand that the Purpose of Prayer is:
1. Not a speech, but a conversation with God.
Pharisee – An utterance based in pride-it was a “speech”
Jonah – A conversation with & listening to God
Prayer is not:
1-way but 2-way communication and it includes…
speaking and listening to His Word & voice, & paying attention to His leadings & pleadings.
2. Not a begging session, but for spending time in God’s Presence:
The very heart of Prayer is not to “get” something but for spending time in God’s presence for the purpose of:
Cleansing = to receive refreshing from God. Psalm 32:1-2
The purpose for Prayer includes Cleansing:
Comfort- to be assured of God’s faithfulness- Psalm 31:1-2
Closeness – to be secure in the love of God – Psalm 31:19-21
3. Not a self-centered exercise, but for expressing real needs to God.
4. Not a maneuver to get our way, but to submit to His ways.
Why do some of our Prayers seem to go unanswered?
• Wrong Motives
• Lack of Faith
• Ask out of God’s Will
• Wrong Timing
• We won’t know until we get to heaven…
One of the biggest reasons our prayers are not answered is because we pray for our will to be done rather than His Will to be accomplished!Isaiah 55:6-8
• changing our desire to match His
• dedicating our will to do His
(Believing and asking for His will to be done ‘on’ & ‘in’ earth)
• bending our knee and head to Him
We need the Holy Spirit to help us express those kinds of prayers & to help us live like we pray.
I ASKED GOD
1. I asked God to take away my Pride. God said… “No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.”
2. I asked God to grant me Patience. He said… “No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is spiritually earned.”
3. I asked God to give me Happiness. He said… “No. I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.”
4. I asked God to keep me from all Pain. God said… “No. Some suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”
5. I asked God to make my Spirit grow. He said… “No. You must grow thru spiritual disciplines and I will prune you to make you fruitful.”
6. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life .My Father said… “No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”
7. I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me.
God said… “Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!”
The Purpose of Prayer is not so much about us and what we want as it is about God, Who He is, What He knows is best for us and how He wants to use us to minister to others. The Holy Spirit’s role in this is crucial.