Just thinking out loud about some “strange” ways that many Christians pray . . .
- We pray only when we have to. If we face a high mountain, we’ll climb it as far as we can. When we simply must pray, we turn to God. We try to fix first, pray second.
- We pray for families only when we hear there’s a problem. Maybe, just maybe our families would be healthier if we prayed for each other before problems developed.
- We pray for young people only after they’re wandering. Same deal as #2 above – perhaps things would be different if we prayed for our youth proactively.
- We pray about temptation most often after we’ve lost the battle. That’s precisely the opposite way of how Jesus taught us pray: “Father, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt 6:13).
- We pray for new pastors until we get them. Sure, we pray for the search committee or the board as they seek new pastors. I hope we pray while new pastors are in transition. When they get settled, though, we too often forget to pray until there’s an issue.
- We pray for dating couples until they get married. We want them to have God’s wisdom as they consider dating, engagement, and marriage. Once they get married, though – at a time of adjustment when they may most need prayer – we again revert to #2 above.
- We pray for non-believers until they become believers. We intercede for them while the Spirit is wooing them. Once they follow Christ, though, we often slack in our praying – and that’s when the spiritual battle is first intense for new believers!
- We pray for sister congregations only when we get word they’re in trouble. Otherwise, we drive past multiple church buildings throughout the day without even thinking to pray for them.
- We pray for government leaders only when we want them out. That seems a bit late to me.
- We pray for wisdom for high school graduates, but then fail to pray for them when they get to college. Their first year in college may be intensely challenging to their faith, but we still fail to cover them in prayer.
- We pray for missionaries only if they’re in front of us. Bring them to our church, and we’ll cover them in prayer. Send them back to the field, and we forget.
- We pray for sick people, but not for well people. At least, that’s the way we operate our prayer lists. Something bad has to happen to get your name on the list.
What do you think? What other “strange” ways do we pray?