Monday, September 2, 2013

Prayer Misconception, Part 1

I have had much anxiety over this next day’s exercise. You can read about it here: 
My Spiritual Tantrum...And How I Got In THE Way

Week 2, Day 2 revolves around the Misconceptions about prayer. There are four misconceptions listed, then a final section on the Truth about prayer. I am going to take the assignment and break it up into five separate posts, each to be posted this week. 

Week 2 Day 2 opens with turning a promise into a prayer:

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

My prayer: Dear Lord, Please bring your plans for me to fruition. May Your Hand’s prosper me and keep me safe from harm of all kinds. May You guide my hopes, aligning them with the future you have in store for me – In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

Misconception #1:
Prayer is only for Material needs.

My thoughts: We are supposed to pray for our needs to be provided by God. But let me ask you a question: Are you asking for what you need, or what you want? There is a vast difference. Not to mention, what you think you want, may not be what you are expecting. I pray for my wants to align with the needs God knows of me. Having faith is a big part of this equation too. If we believe in God’s promise to provide for us, knowing that our needs will be met, then half the battle is won. Now we ask, through prayer, for God to realize our needs for us. We have nothing to worry over:

Jesus teaches about worry: 

Matthew 6:25-34:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in the barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in to the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  31 So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagan run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Prayer Study Quote:
“Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 18:3). To see the kingdom of God clearly, one must leave behind adult pretenses and sophisticated arguments…What a contrast to the way a little child comes to his or her parents! A child simply assumes that the need or desire is potent enough to speak for itself. All that is required is to bring that need to Mom’s or Dad’s attention. The request assumes the answer. The child’s only thought is to bring the need to the source of supply.  You don’t need to build a theological case for why God should want to meet your need. He wants to meet your need because He’s your daddy and you are the apple of His eye…The Greek word translated ask is used to ask for something to be given, not done. It is the simplest, most straightforward picture of asking for something you need."

My thoughts: Remember, God wants to supply us with our needs. Being childlike in our turning to God is about putting aside our questioning ways. Children believe, have imaginations, and hope effortlessly. Children do not know fear the way adults do. Children are more open to receiving the promises of God and seeing God in everyday places because they are unable to comprehend the evils of the world as we adults may have experienced. Their innocence keeps the wall of doubt and fear at bay. We adults only need to remember that God is there and willing to give us our needs. Are you willing to accept His gifts? 

Prayer Study Day 7, Part 2 here.
For credit purposes, the Prayer Study I am using is: 
Live A Praying Life, New and Revised Anniversary Addition 
Jennifer Kennedy Dean ~ 
This is not an endorsement. This just happens to be the prayer study I am using, and I have decided to share my study experience, here on The Paisley Butterfly

My Bible: Life Application Study Bible, New International Version 
Why I like this bible: There are extensive notes on the verses. Each page has more notes:bible verse ratio. 

Here is a link to an online bible -- there are other online bibles out there, this one just happens to be the one I use most. 

Again, listing my bible references is not for the purpose of endorsement, but an effort to appropriate credit to materials used.

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