Praying in Vain

This originally appeared as an email delivered on
Saturday, July 15th, 2017.

When people learn that God may not fulfill their prayer requests, they often think that prayer becomes vain and pointless.

They think, “if I can’t get what I ask for, then what is the use of praying?”

If this is the case for you, then it is not prayer that is vain, but your idea about how prayer works.

Prayer is not God’s suggestion box or the way to place your order at the divine drive-thru. The purpose of prayer is not for God to meet your every whim and desire.

Imagine if this is how you treated every interaction with your family or friends!

“If I can’t get something from you, then what is the point of talking to you, thinking about you, or being married/friends?”

Wouldn’t that be a bit selfish? (The correct answer is, yes.)

Perhaps God’s purpose is for you to grow spiritually, and prayer is a spiritual practice that strengthens your inner man according to God’s will, not yours.

Prayer is not vain, even when your physical desires and requests are not met, because prayer is supposed to orient your heart and mind in Christ (Phil 4:7).

That it can do every time you pray.

For His glory,

Justin “without ceasing” Johnson

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