There are few things as messed up in the Christian life as prayer. One of the most important parts of our life is placed in bondage by rules and standards. As we continue to look at odd things people learn in church, I want to take a couple days to consider this:
“The right prayer will change God’s mind.”
What do you say when you pray? Do you say the right thing? If you feel that your prayers are not being answered, is it because you might not be praying right? When you really need God to act, do you have the right kind of prayer?
Some teachers say that prayer is the way to get God to do what you need Him to do. But, they say, you have to pray in the right way. We all know that we are not supposed to pray with our eyes open, right? Hands folded, eyes closed, head bowed. Some say we are never to stand in prayer, but always to kneel. Sometimes, if we really need something, we should lay right down on the ground or the floor, flat on our face before God, they say.
Some teach that we should always use respectful language, formal words from the King James Version. God responds better to “thee” and “thou,” I suppose. Some say that we should keep our mouths closed, never actually speak. Others say that God will hear better if we shout. Loud prayers are the best for them. Some, of course, believe that the only real way to pray is in your spiritual tongue, which only God understands.
Then, of course, we have the words that should be said. Should we always confess our sins, as some say? Should we just ask for what we need or should we bargain? Some teach that we should start with Adoration, then Confess our sins, then Thank God for what He has already done, and finally bring our Supplication or request. A.C.T.S. They even give us an acronym so we will remember. And, in some of the older and more formal denominations, prayer is a litany of memorized words repeated as praise and request together.
So, you see, if God is like our dads or our bosses, we will want to approach Him in the right way if we are to get Him to change His mind.
Now, imagine that you have an urgent need. Something tragic is happening. You want God to act and fast. Do you shout? Do you plead? Do you take the time to confess your sins? What if you pray in the wrong way?
Can you feel the bondage here? Do you think God wants you to be worrying about how to address Him or what posture you should use? In the midst of crisis, you need Him.