Is there a wrong way to pray?

pray about

I looked out at the semi-circle of metal folding chairs and noticed the woman on the end pulling a rumpled tissue from her purse. She dabbed the tears spilling from the corners of her eyes. “Is it Okay?” she wanted to know. Her cat had wandered off and her heart was breaking. She hesitated to request prayer for the feline, but could not contain her emotion. I prayed for the cat and at the time I didn’t even like cats. Don’t hate me, I am a convert now. Her treasured pet came home that afternoon.

God cares about lilies and sparrows, so I suppose He cares about cats too. He loves us so much, He cares about what we care about, even if they are furry.

Matthew 10:29-31, “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.” HCSB

SERIOUS STUFF

Ask for prayer requests and you will get the requisite roll call of who died, who is sick and who is traveling. Jesus wept when Martha grieved over her brother. He healed the sick when they came to him. He promises to send angels to protect us. I truly believe we should pray about anything and everything. Prayer is simply talking to God. He wants to know our cares.

Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” NLT

BUT…

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He began with, “Hallowed be thy name.” Am I the only one who tends to rush in with my list of concerns? Remember, the privilege of prayer is expensive; the cost was paid by the blood of Jesus.

Matthew 27:51, “And behold, the  curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” ESV

WHAT HE REALLY WANTS

At that price, He wouldn’t want us to neglect prayer, but I suspect what He really wants is our whole-hearted devotion. The haunting voice of Lauren Daigle challenges me:

Before I bring my need,  I will bring my heart

 Before I lift my cares,  I will lift my arms

WHAT ABOUT THE CAT?

If your heart is breaking, God sees you and He cares, no matter what caused your pain. By all means pray about everything. But our posture before Him should begin and end with worship. Worship is focus. Before I pray my flight home will go smooth, I want to see God for who He is. I want to understand His heart, instead of focusing on my own needs, whether it’s a cat or an incurable disease.

Mark 12:29, “Jesus said, The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.'”

So if you have a prayer request, let me know. I’ll even pray for your pet, unless it’s a snake-not ever.

5 thoughts on “Is there a wrong way to pray?

  1. I listened to Lauren Daigle earlier today. Uplifting! Will you pray for me, specifically my MS which has been worsening more in the last year than in the last twenty; and for the scoliosis caused from being in a wheelchair for 24 years. Thank you.

  2. I left a prayer group once because they mostly wanted to talk with a few minutes at the end for some quick send ups, “Lord, please bless xxxx.” I loved those women, but it was not how I wanted to spend my morning. That may sound judgmental–and I don’t want to be–but coming before our heavenly Father in the name of Jesus is a holy privilege that we take too lightly. I’m as guilty as the rest for praying on the run. I know He meets us in emergencies and our busyness, but I believe we really get down to His Kingdom work when we set time aside and begin with contemplating and praising Him for who He is. I also know He loves to hear His Word prayed back to Him. This is not an activity set aside for the super spiritual; otherwise, I’d be out of luck. It’s something He yearns for all of His children to do. (Yes, He cares about our kitty cats, too.)

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