Spiritiual Growth Series: 4 Functions of Prayer

from Servants of Grace by Joey Cochran

This is a new series on spiritual growth designed to help our readers understand how to grow in Christ.

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Introduction

As a youth pastor, I heard all sorts of superficial prayer requests. “Please pray for my cat” or “I just want this boy to ask me to the dance” or “I’ve got this test that I haven’t really studied for.” I don’t want to write off these prayer requests. I believe God loves to hear from every one of his children and he honors all these requests. After all, he did say, “Whatever you ask in my name…” (John 14:13-14). Another time we can discuss whether this Scripture applies to apostles or adolescent teens, for now I wish to hone in on the purpose of prayer.

You see, superficial purposes are not easily outgrown. Adult prayers can be pretty similar to adolescent prayers. Adults will pray to get something from God: money, a job, a guy or a girl. They pray to escape something: illness, impending danger or harm, or enemies. They pray to change something: That job they finally got. Or that person they finally married.

We all are prone to pray for superficial reasons. It’s because we lose track of God’s primary purposes for prayer. And I’m certainly not immune. Thankfully, God uses events in our lives to get us back on track to the primary purposes for prayer.

This happened to me. At a time when my prayer life became dry – wandering in what some call “the desert of the soul” – the Lord orchestrated events that realigned my prayer life. I got laid off. Through the process of having security ripped away and being thrust fully forward in faith, I rediscovered four purposes of prayer that had gone forgotten. These are not all the purposes of prayer; they are four significant ones. These too often get overlooked or crowded out on a daily basis by superficial purposes.

Red the rest at: http://servantsofgrace.org/4-functions-of-prayer/#sthash.YwoRfFA3.dpuf

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