The Who and What of Prayer

Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father…

Have you ever thought about why you pray? There’s the matter of what it is that you want. Do you want help? Do you want healing? Do you want a better attitude? Do you want a new car or more money or a better job? Why do you go to God to ask for that, rather than just using your own efforts? There’s the issue of whether we ever go to Him without “wanting something”. Sometimes we ask Him why He’s allowing us to go through something and we’re either seeking understanding or asking Him to stop the things or people that are bringing us stress or pain.

Do you pray sometimes just to let Him know that you love Him, to ask if there’s something you could do for Him, or maybe to just thank Him?

Self-examination could have us checking why it is that we want what we’re asking for… for ourselves or for the purpose of bringing Him glory?

Let’s come clean… most of us just pray because we want something. We’re not being selfish (intentionally) but the truth is that we are central in our own lives. God’s purpose and mission are not always first in our consciousness. We see Him as being there for us… and we don’t necessarily think of ourselves being there for Him… for His service… for His use in helping and encouraging others.

Today we’re going to examine why Paul prays for the Ephesian church. What is it that he wants for them from God? It’s interesting that he knows exactly what that is. He has meditated and is purposeful in his prayer.

Let’s look at three things:

  1. What are we praying for? Is it long-range and meaningful or is it shallow and temporary?
  2. Who are we praying to? Is it to our Lord, Master, and purpose-giver or to our Santa Claus in the sky?
  3. Are we listening for God’s response or direction, or are we doing all the talking about what we want?