Friday, February 17, 2017
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8 KJV).
Prayer from the heart—not from the prayer book!
Everyone prays. It is unfortunate, however, that many Christians have allowed superstitious (that is, non-Christian) ideas to creep into their prayer lives. These erroneous notions have caused them to have a distorted sense of what prayer is in the Holy Bible.
First and foremost, prayer in Scripture is not about manipulating God to do what you want Him to do. Many Christians have reduced prayer to, “Santa Claus, I have been good, and I would like this, that, and the other….” They believe that if they say the right words, and do the right things, God will acquiesce and make some (or all) of their wishes come true. Moreover, it is terribly sad that we often pray only when we want to ask God for something.
Secondly, prayer is always, always, about talking to God in light of what His Word says to you. Our Heavenly Father has promised to do certain things today in the Dispensation of Grace, and those promises are found in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Grabbing anything in the Bible and repeating it in prayer is unwise. You may be demanding God do something He never promised He would do for you. Dispensational Bible study is critical to understanding where you are in the Bible, what God is doing today, and what He wants you to do today.
No matter the time in human history, prayer is best defined in today’s Scripture—“pour out your heart before him.” If you study prayer in the Bible, and the various prayers of the saints therein, they are not mindlessly repeating prayer books and prayer cards. They speak to God from their heart, intimately, personally. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” That is, if we memorize God’s Word rightly divided (dispensationally considered), we hide it in our hearts, and we pour out our hearts before God in prayer, that is genuine prayer. We will really be confirming in our minds, and telling Him, what He already said He would do! 🙂
Special-edition Bible Q&A #350: “What are ‘instant’ Christians?”