What do you believe about praying? I’ve heard people mention lots of myths about prayer, and I’ve realized some of them are really common. Here are four myths about prayer.
- Prayer is all about me and what I want or need. Well, it is about you in that it’s about what’s happening in your heart. Because prayer is essentially communication with God, it’s one of the key ways your relationship with Him develops. So it’s about God, too. And when you pray for other people rather than yourself, it becomes focused on them in that moment.
- Prayer is a one-way conversation. Like all communication, 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, by placing a thought in your mind that lines up with Scripture, or maybe just by surrounding you with unexplainable peace.
- 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, for asking for wisdom when you’re confused or uncertain, for expressing your emotions to the One who loves you unconditionally, and for asking for help when you don’t know how you’re going to make it through.
- 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 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 your LifeGroup, staff at your campus, or our online prayer team. 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.