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Choking Your Prayers?

November 3, 2014
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Has your theology ever “got” in the way of your prayer life?

Imagine someone you know well calls you or texts you with an immediate problem. They reach out to you because they are in a panic and need you to pray over this matter. What do you do? Most Christians vow to pray for people, but never get around to doing it. Some will even look you in the face, hear your prayer needs, make that vow, only to walk away having forgotten all you heard. To give some benefit of the doubt, it’s possible that other unplanned things pop up on your mental to-do list that push out others needs.

But this time is different. You hear or read the prayer needs and now it’s up to you to go to the throne room before a holy, righteous Father where the Son stands interceding for the ones he died for. What do you do?

Well in recent times I’ve had people’s theology send messages to me I’m sure they don’t intend to send. Yet the message was sent loud and clear. Imagine this – before prayers are offered for a person, the question of “is he or she a believer” is asked of you. I do understand the question, but I cannot understand its relevance. I’m left to wonder if believers understand that God sends his rain on the just and unjust? If they understand that God sends his new mercies on the saved and not saved every morning? If they understand that their prayers for the lost who are ill or in some dire need can simply be about their recovery and nothing else?

In other words, must they only pray for salvation or pray thanking God for their salvation because they’re too afraid to truly ask God to heal or meet some rather basic need that has nothing to do with salvation? The answer is simple. If we as believers cannot pray for God to meet basic needs for the lost, then it’s a sad, sad sign that we don’t pray that for believers either. It becomes clear that we don’t care for the person holistically, but only spiritually. Ultimately, it becomes evident that we don’t think too highly of God and what he cares about, though every human being is made in the image of God.

So instead of letting our theology, be it full or lacking, choke our prayers, let us learn to see people how God sees them and pray in light of that. Know that God created them, wants them to give him glory, and seeks to meet their basic needs every single day. If we continue to let our theology ruin our prayer life, pretty soon we won’t have one.


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