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Pray different: Praying great things

Praying can be frustrating. Most Christians are convinced that they should pray more than they do. But it’s hard. Some don’t pray because they don’t know what to say. It can seem that the best praying is done by super-spiritual types who have command of some sacred vocabulary.

Others have been urged to pray with the rationale that prayer is supposedly a powerful procedure. If it’s done correctly, prayer will get “results.” Or so goes the commonplace thinking. But when people don’t see “results,” they conclude that there is something wrong with them or with the words they are saying. If we should pray because prayer works, then by that same logic, we should stop praying if it doesn’t work. And many have.

Because of this sense of frustration, instead of calling people to pray more, we need to urge people to pray differently than they may have learned or experienced. How differently? In what ways should our praying be different?

We do our best praying when we pray beyond our personal needs and persistently pray toward the great things that God has purposed to accomplish in history. We do our best praying for others when we envision and intercede for the good things that God has desired for them. We do our best praying as a people, united and focused by God’s word.

It’s natural for humans to pray. But to pray well, we have to be taught. We need to “unlearn” a few presumptions and religious habits. Our best prayer is something we will learn by being corrected and encouraged by Christ Himself. No wonder His first followers approached Him, asking, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Christ is increasing and deepening and simplifying the praying of His people all over the world. Let’s be encouraged. God’s greatest works are still to come. And our best praying is still before us.

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Prayerwalking is praying near the people you are praying for, in the places where they live or work. Prayerwalking isn’t really about walking around. It’s praying with your eyes and heart wide open so that you can take notice of what God may be wanting to do in their lives. It’s getting nearer to pray clearer. Read more »

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