Bible Verse: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7)
Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:1-14
I must admit that I had to unlearn prayer. While I was grateful for some of the faithful Christians I knew during my early years, I am not sure their model of prayer really hit the mark or made much of a difference in helping me learn a biblical, life-transforming way to pray.
I hate to say it, but it seemed to me that if you took the words bless and be with out of their prayer vocabulary, no one would have had anything to say. The prayers commenced in systematic fashion as we went down the list: “Bless this, bless that – be with him, be with her… ”
Clearly the request-based approach just did not work for me. I have learned that it has not worked for many seeking Christians. This dissatisfaction led me to a growing and life-changing understanding of what I call worship-based prayer. It was not a new discovery but a simple revelation of what is clear in the Scriptures as a positive alternative to “grocery-list” praying. This approach has transformed my life and the lives of thousands I have encountered who have made this vital discovery.
Worship is the response of all we are to the revelation of all God is. Worship-based prayer seeks the face of God before the hand of God. God’s face is the essence of who He is. God’s hand is the blessing of what He does. God’s face represents His person and presence. God’s hand expresses His provision for needs in our lives. I have learned that if all we ever do is seek God’s hand, we may miss His face; but if we seek His face, He will be glad to open His hand and satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts.
This approach to prayer always begins with a focus on biblical, Spirit-empowered worship. It is distinctly different from the traditional approach that emphasizes prayer requests and long lists of needs as the foundation of prayer. Christ taught a worship-based approach to prayer. It is modelled by many biblical personalities. It is fuelled by Scriptural truth in every case. Worship-based prayer ignites a desire for spiritual intimacy and personal transformation. In the discovery of these realities, a Christian is then empowered and enlightened to pray about issues and needs in a whole new way.
Peter Lord, one of my personal mentors and a pastor for over five decades, states, “Most Christians pray out of crisis or from a grocery list – period.” His point is that God has much more for us in our walk with Him when we learn to seek His face, not just His hand. This is the discovery so many are making today in their relationship with Christ.
Join me as we hear the call of God to our hearts – “Seek My face” (Psalm 27:8) – and readily respond, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” When this becomes the passion and pattern of our lives, transformation occurs.
— Daniel Henderson in Transforming Prayer: How Everything Changes When You Seek God’s Face ©2011 by Daniel Henderson. Used by permission.
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