Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Authentic Petitionary Praying Aligns With God's Redemptive Kingdom Agenda (PrayerLife)

Butterfly in my yard
The baseball player hits a home run that wins the game. As he crosses the plate in victory he looks up, points his finger heavenward, and thanks God. Did God really take sides in a baseball game? While it could happen, I mostly doubt it. While I am thrilled every time the Tigers beat the Yankees, God is not. 

"One suspects that many petitionary prayers are not especially enlightened appeals to the Deity. The petitionary pleas of athletes to their God to help them beat the other team or to knock out their opponent in a boxing match may be commonplace phenomena."
Spilka, Bernard; Ladd, Kevin L. The Psychology of Prayer: A Scientific Approach, p. 58.

We can bring all our requests to God, but God is not obligated to deliver on them. 

I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Jesus, in John 14:13-14

That little phrase "in my name" means: according to Jesus' identity and purposes. If someone calls me with a request that is "not me," then I will not grant their request. I will not, for example, give the heroin addict money. 

Our requests must grow out of a constant connection to God. They must align with God's redemptive, kingdom agenda. Then even asking for our own selves (petitionary prayer) is fundamentally for the glory of God.

Attach your heart to Jesus.

Out of that attachment, request.