I never tire of challenging myself on the subject of prayer. Why? Because there are few barometers, few gauges, in this world that tell me more about myself, and about others, than that of prayer.
Prayer is a deeply controversial subject. And probably nowhere as controversial as inside the Church. Not convinced? Just try praying differently than those around you. Or encourage those around you to practice prayer in a new way. Prayer both exposes and hides, both unifies and divides, both reveals and conceals. It is used to polarize people, effect miracles, manipulate relationships, cultivate revival, grandstand religiosity, and topple regimes. It is also used for nostalgia, sentiment, ritual, and self-help.
Prayer, perhaps even more than worship, separates people into camps.
I love much of what John Piper has written on prayer. Two summers ago, he wrote a piece entitled “Do You Pray Like a Nonbeliever?” I love it. It’s excellent. And I hope you’ll read it. And I hope you’ll be freshly challenged to pray for more, not for less. To pray radical, visionary prayers that sound like you believe in another dimension. Here are a few highlights:
Many professing Christians “pray for protection, and shelter, and food, and clothing, and health, and peace, and prosperity, and social justice, and comfort, and happiness. All of these good things are things the world wants. You don’t have to be born again to want these or love these. And you don’t have to be a Christian to pray for them… Every religion prays for them.”
When you pray like a Christian, merely professing Christians “will pull away from [you]. They will feel uncomfortable around such prayers.”
“Christians hold fast to the conviction that 85 years of protection, shelter, food, clothing, health, peace, prosperity, social justice, comfort, and happiness, followed by an eternity of misery, is not a good life. And we know that real love will not settle for such a tragic life.”
Read the full article here: “Do You Pray Like a Nonbeliever?” And may you and I pray for eternally more, not less.