Prayer doesn’t have to be intimidating. But is prayer ever challenging for you? If so, you’re not alone. Prayer connects us with God, and building a habit of prayer can help us find peace, guidance, and purpose in life. But there are common myths about prayer that can get in our way as we pursue Jesus.
So let’s break down these myths about prayer so we can make the most of our times of prayer. Maybe you’ve heard these myths before, or you know a person who belives one of them.
Here Are 4 Myths About Prayer
1. Prayer is all about me and what I want or need.
God gives us permission to make requests, and ask for help. But prayer is about so much more than getting what we hope for. It’s about connecting with God, who wants to know us. Through prayer, we can connect with God on a personal level, learn more about our faith, and find guidance. It’s also a way to give thanks and express gratitude, to meditate on Scripture and develop our relationship with God.
2. Prayer is a one-way request.
Like all great communication with people you care about, prayer goes both ways. It may seem like you’re the one doing all the talking. But when you stop to listen, you’ll find God wants to talk to you, too! He may do it in a variety of ways: by reminding you of a Bible verse or the lyrics of a song, by bringing to mind a message you’ve heard. Or through placing a thought in your mind that lines up with Scripture or even by surrounding you with unexplainable peace.
3. Prayer is just for tough times.
Actually, prayer is an appropriate response for any situation! It’s for thanking God for the good things in life, asking for wisdom when you’re confused or uncertain, expressing your emotions to the One who loves you unconditionally, and asking for help when you don’t know how you’re going to make it through.
4. Prayer is only for when all else fails.
Maybe you’ve heard people say, “There’s nothing to do now but pray.” Instead of being a last resort, prayer is meant to be our first response in life. The moment you find yourself facing something tough, stop and pray before doing anything else. That simple act will help you remember that God is with you and actively at work in your situation. Prayer will center your focus and trust on Him.
One of the most well-known examples of prayer in the Bible can be found in Matthew 6:9-13, where Jesus teaches his followers how to pray. This prayer, also known as the Lord’s Prayer, includes asking for God’s will to be done, provision of daily needs, forgiveness of sins and protection from evil. This prayer shows us what prayer can be, and reminds us to let go of some of the myths about prayer that can hold us back.
One more thing. You don’t need to keep your prayer needs to yourself. If you’re praying for something, I hope you’ll share it with a trusted friend. Mark Batterson once said, “Prayer is the difference between the best YOU can do and the best GOD can do.” That’s no myth, that’s truth.
Do you need prayer? If so, connect with someone today.