Monday, March 7, 2011

4 Kinds of Prayers

I came across this article on CEFC Facebook Notes page and thought it worth reproducing for those who may missed out on such a good article. Enjoy and pray!

1) “Give Me” Prayers

These are our prayers that go something like “Lord, I need (fill in the blank), please give me ...”, or “God, I really want (fill in the blank), please give me ... ”

It could be a promotion at work, a place for your child in that top school, a life partner, etc.

2) “Help Me” Prayers
These are our prayers that call out to God for help, because we recognise that the problem at hand is far greater than we can handle ourselves. They are most often heard at hospitals, when we pray for healing for ourselves and our loved ones, and also at examination halls, especially when we’ve not been as diligent as we should have.

“Give Me” and “Help Me” prayers are grouped together as what we would call "Anthropocentric (man-centred) Prayers". They are man-centred, because often, when we pray this way, our perspective is that of ourselves being at the centre of the universe. And we pray to God to give us and help us, according to what we need and want. but this is not to say that Anthropocentric Prayers are wrong. They are perfectly legitimate prayers!

In fact, Jesus himself taught us to pray this way (see below). but don’t just stop with anthropocentric prayers, because they’re not enough! Jesus definitely didn’t.

3) “Mould Me” Prayers
This is when we pray “Your will be done”. It’s when we prayerfully submit our work, our children’s school, our life partner, our health, our exams to the will of God, ask Him to give us not what we favour, but for His will be done (even if it does not turn out the way we would like it) and that He mould us and our character in that process.

4) “Glorify Thee” Prayers
This is when how God chooses to answer our prayer is no longer even important. Rather, we pray that God may be glorified in every circumstance that He has allowed us to be faced with, regardless of how He may choose to answer our prayers. Wow!
“Mould Me” and “Glorify Thee” Prayers are Theocentric (God-centred) Prayers. They are God-centred because we begin to pray in accordance to the heart of God. We pray with God at the centre of our prayers, and with ourselves falling in line with the will of God.

Let’s learn from our Master. In “The Lord’s Prayer” (Mt 6:9–13), Jesus taught us to pray this way: “Glorify Thee” (v9), “Mould Me” (v10), “Give Me” (v11), and “Help Me” (v13).

Notably, Jesus taught us to pray both anthropocentrically and theocentrically. but notice the sequence. And with bible versions that include “For Thine is the Kingdom ... ”, we would rightly come back to close with Theocentric Prayer.

Certainly, Theocentric Prayers don’t come naturally or intuitively. We need to learn to pray this way! But if we really desire to grow in prayer, this is certainly something not to be missed.

May we learn to pray as our Lord Himself did, even at Gethsemane, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39).

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