[CF Devotionals] 2018-10-19 - Prayer Types

Part 2 ~ Originally Published 2009-10-23

  1. Memorized Prayer - Talking to God isn't a test of how much we can memorize. Praying means simply speaking to God. How many people memorize what they say to their friends each day and yet at night we start with "Now I lay me down to sleep." This prayer may be good for kids because it encourages them to form a habit and sets an example for them to follow the rest of their lives. But it's bad for Christians that want to mature. God reads the heart more than words. What's our hearts saying if we're just puking out what others tell us to say? There is no heart behind it. John Bunyan said, "When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words be without heart."

  2. 911 Prayer - This is probably the most common. "God help me. Get me out of this jam." The only thing they got right is knowing where to turn for help. It's often accompanied by the ...

  3. Bargaining Prayer - This is the all too familiar prayer "I'll do this, if you'll do that." Who do we think we are? We rightly deserve to die in our sins. We are in no position to bargain. It's only by his love and grace that we are even alive. Besides we know we'll never keep our end. Do we really want God to pull the rug out from under us when we fail to keep it up?

  4. Give Me Prayer - "God, you know I love you and that I do what you want but I need this that and the other." Again we speak with arrogance. How dare we think He owes us anything? He's already paid all our debts 2000 years ago. He gave us life we owe him a lifetime of gratitude and servitude. There's another form of this prayer that isn't based on works. "God I need this. Give me that. Thanks, Amen." Often we claim the "ask and ye shall receive" verse here. And we tack on the magical phrase "In Jesus' name". We are to pray in his name but this really means in his nature or character. We are to figure out how Jesus would pray and what he would ask for and then do the same.

  5. "I'll pray for you" Prayer - This is the prayer that comes about as the result of us seeing someone and saying "Hey. How are you?" Then old So-and-so shares a problem and we just don't know what to say so we simply mumble, "I'll pray for you." Later that day the person crosses our mind and the promise we made so then we feel like we have to pray for that person so we pray "God, help John, Amen." There's no compassion just a sense of obligation that needs to be met.
    "Our prayers must mean something to us if they are to mean anything to God." (Maltbie D. Babcock)

  6. Unoffered Prayer - The worst we can do is not pray. John 16:24 tells us "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." The end of James 4:2b adds, "Yet ye have not, because ye ask not." We need to worry less about unanswered prayers because the problem is more often the unoffered prayer.

    In Hugh Price Hughes' story, the City of Everywhere, a man arrived in a city one cold morning. as he got off the train, the station was like any other station with the crowds and redcaps, except that everybody was barefooted. they wore no shoes. He noticed the cab driver was barefooted. "Pardon me," he asked the driver, "I was just wondering why you don't wear shoes. Don't you believe in shoes?"

    "Sure we do," said the driver.

    "Why don't you wear them?"

    "Ah that's the question," came the reply. "Why don't we wear shoes? Why don't we?"

    At the hotel it was the same. The clerk, the bell boys, everybody was barefooted. In the coffee shop he noticed a nice-looking fellow at a table opposite him who was also barefooted. He said, "I notice you aren't wearing any shoes. I wonder why? Don't you know about shoes?"

    The man replied, "Of course I know about shoes."

    "Then why don't you wear them?"

    "Ah, that's the question. Why don't we? Why don't we?"

    After breakfast he walked out on the street in the snow but every person he saw was barefooted. He asked another man about it, and pointed out how shoes protect the feet from cold.

    The man said, "We know about shoes. See that building yonder? That is a shoe factory. We are proud of that plant and every week we gather there to hear the man in charge tell about shoes and how wonderful they are."

    "Then why don't you wear shoes?"

    "Ah that's the question."

    Don't we believe in prayer? Don't we know what it could mean in our lives? Then why don't we pray? Ah that's the question … Why don't we? (copied from City of Everywhere pp. 632-633 - Nelson's Complete Stories, Illustrations, & Quotations but originally from Charles Allen, All things are Possible Through Prayer, Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1963, pp.52-53)


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All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted

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