What Prayer is Not

To understand what true prayer is, we must rid ourselves of false notions and traditions. Prayer is not so you can tell uninformed God all about your problems.

Matthew 6:7-8 And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Berean)

Prayer is not so you can give God your advice or instruction. Many Christians spend half their time telling God all THEIR plans and the other half trying to get God to bless those plans. Jesus set forth the outline of prayer by saying “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Jesus also lived what he taught saying, “not My will but…  

John 5:30 Jesus said, “I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me.” (NKJ)

Prayer is not a one-sided discussion, that’s a monologue. Prayer is a conversation. Not only do you talk, but you also listen.

Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if the people did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns us from heaven? (Berean)

How does God speak to us? He speaks to our inner-man (spirit) and through Scripture.

Romans 7:22 For I delight with the law of God with the inward man, (NKJ)

Ephesians 3:16    I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,  (HCSB)

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (NKJ)

Prayer is not so we can force God into doing something He really doesn’t want to do or talk Him out of something He is about to do.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (NKJ)

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (NKJ)

Matthew 7:11 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (NKJ)

We don’t need to beg God to do something. He has already given us what we need. Just receive it by believing.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (Berean)

 1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us: 15 And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we desired of him. (NKJ)

God is not angry or even in a bad mood. His wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ.

John 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him. (NKJ)

Romans 5:8-10 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. (ESV)

1 John 2:2 He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (ESV) propitiation = an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party. Atonement.

We do not need to beg God to save people. God loves them more than you do.

Matthew 9:38 Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into his harvest.
We do not need to beg God to send revival or to pour out His Spirit.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (NKJ)

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