4 Purposes Of Prayer


Are our prayers a demand or a petition?

by Larry Crabb

We pray, asking God to hear our cry, pleading with Him to let nothing else go wrong. I wonder if sometimes the passion in our prayers reflects more of a demand than a petition. Frustration is excellent soil for growing a demanding spirit. It is therefore important that we handle difficulties well, allowing them to mature us rather than to push us toward demandingness.

“The beginning of a proper response to frustrating circumstances is a clear recognition of who’s in charge. To handle frustration by reminding ourselves how much God loves us is a good second step, but not the first one. We must take our place as a creature before our Creator and then explore the wonder of our Creator’s loving character. An awareness of God’s love casts out our fear, but subjection to His authority deals with our demandingness.

Inside Out, P 148

A Prayer About Singing Mountains and Clapping Trees

by Scotty Smith

“My word that goes out from my mouth, it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12

Gracious Father, you know how much I love mountains, of all shapes and sizes. There’s just something about mountains that causes my heart to feel the greatness of your glory and grace—the weightiness of your majesty and the endlessness of your mercy. What a glorious creation… what a magnificent Creator you are.

It all started with excursions to the foothills of western North Carolina, and then onto exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains around Boone and Banner Elk, NC. And I’ll never forget my first sighting of the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado… and bright yellow Aspen leaves dancing against the rich blue backdrop of a haze-free fall skyline.

But then there was the day I stepped off the train in the village of Interlaken, Switzerland, and got hammered with the holy wonder of three Alps, the Eiger, Monch and the Jungfrau. I can still see, smell, feel and taste the sensual overload of that day. Indeed, Father, the works of your hands declare your glory, loud and clear. For those who have ears to hear, there is no place in all creation where your loving and wooing voice cannot be heard singing your praise. (Psalm 19:1-6)

But, Father, these words of Isaiah envision a Day when the mountains themselves will burst into song—the new song of the new creation… the regenerating, renewing and restoring melody of the gospel. Though your glory is clearly revealed in the beauty of your creation, it is revealed ten thousand times more in the redemption that you freely give us in Jesus. Jesus is the Alps of your mercy, grace and love for us.

Because of Jesus, we, your redeemed people, will go out in joy and be led for into the peace—into the shalom—the perfect order, society, environment and world of the new heaven and new earth. You have spoken… you have promised… and so shall it be. Your Word will accomplish everything you decree and every one of your delights.  Hasten that Day, Father. Bring in on… make it happen, the sooner the better.

In light of the Day of singing mountains and clapping trees, we enter this day groaning inwardly and waiting expectantly… confident that your Word will not return empty (Romans 8:18-27). Joy is coming to the world because Jesus has come to the world, and is coming again. So very Amen, we pray, in His matchless and merciful name.

A Christcentered Bucket List of Prayer


A prayer about guaranteed glory

Ephesians 1:13 – 14

Gracious Father, sometimes reading Paul’s letters is like standing in front of a gushing fire hydrant. It is hard to stand up to the rush of so much glory and grace. It is simply overwhelming.

For instance, as I read through Ephesians I am confronted with been loved before the foundation of the world, being chosen in Christ and called in life, being justified by faith and declared to be righteous, and being adopted by Abba, Father, betrothed to Jesus, and indwell by the Holy Spirit. I am shown that I have a completely forgiven past, a present stand in grace, and future of unimaginable wonder. You have given us staggering riches in Jesus.

But what really encourages me today is knowing that all of this is guaranteed. You have “sealed the deal” by the Holy Spirit. You have guaranteed our inheritance in Christ. You have given us a down payment, the firstfruits, the promise of a future beyond our wildest dreams and asking.

There is no possibility of “bait and switch” or “revoking the warranty.” Their are no factory recalls, no fine print are doublespeak, no possibility of bankruptcy or legal maneuverings. Nothing will sabotage or bring it to completion of the good work you have begun in us and in your entire cosmos!

Father, rip and grip our hearts with the gospel of your grace. Let us be up people who live to the praise of your glorious grace.

~ Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers

I need you today

I am a poor man in need of the Good News today, Jesus. I need you to proclaim freedom for my worn down, weary heart. I need you to open my eyes to see the gospel today as though I were seeing for the very first time.

~ Scotty Smith

My anger

Help me to know when the anger I feel is nothing more than the responsible little boy not getting his way. Help me to know when the anger I swallow should be expressed appropriately, not swallowed. Help me to get angry in the face of injustice, that I might love redemptively in the face of evil. Help me to listen and seek to understand the emotion of anger in others and not to rush to judgment or rush out of their story too fast.

~ Scotty Smith