Think about your prayer time with God. Is it all about you? That is, do you spend all of your time talking to God about what you want or need? OK, maybe not all of your time, but do you spend most of your time talking to God about you?
I submit that a much more effective way of praying is to make our prayers more vertical and horizontal in their focus. By horizontal focus, I mean that we should pray for the needs of others and our proper relationships with them. And by vertical focus, I am referring to prayer aimed at our desire to know the will of God for our lives and to maintain a proper relationship with Him.
You see, the content of our prayers says a lot about our heart for God. For instance, if you have a burden for the millions of people in the world who live in poverty, you will often make mention of them in your prayers. Or if you knew of a couple down the street whose marriage was a living hell and you genuinely felt their pain, you would be sure to pray for them at times. If, however, the essence of your prayer is me, myself, and I, that’s quite shallow. God wants our prayer life to be the expression of a big heart for Him.
Of course, we should pray to God about our personal needs. Even in the model prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). And many of us have other pressing issues we should pray to God about. But the point is that our prayers should not be all about us.
Personally, I know more people with health problems than I can possibly pray for. But I do pray for some of them almost every time I pray. Another thing that really burdens me is the rampant immorality that exists in America. Accordingly, I often pray for God to bless us with godly leaders in government, in our large corporations, and in our local churches. These things are important to me because they are important to God. The passion with which I pray about these things is a reflection of my heart for God.
It goes without saying that we have to do more than simply pray. And if we are passionate about something we will not simply pray, but also we will get involved. On the other hand, we know that when mixed with faith in God, prayer makes a big difference. So what does your prayer life say about your heart for God?
Copyright © 2013 by Frank King. All rights reserved.