Intent/Motive Of Prayer
REFERENCE SCRIPTURES: Revelation 4:11
Revelation 4:11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
This scripture summarizes what our activities on earth should be all about: bringing Him pleasure, including prayer. However, in the Body of Christ today, most of our prayers have been seeking our own pleasure, not God’s. Hence, we are full of ‘give me, give me, give me’ prayers.
What is the origin of prayer in the Scriptures? Where can we trace prayer to, from the Scriptures? Genesis 4:26. Prayer is one great proof of men’s reliance on God. Prayer is men giving God the right way of access and control. Prayer is men acknowledging the place of God over the affairs of man. The intent of prayer or praying should, therefore, be a matter of bringing His pleasure into existence in men’s space.
This reminds me of when the disciples of Jesus asked him to teach them to pray. Was it that they weren’t praying before? No. They saw something in Jesus’ prayer that their Jewish prayer never could give them. The disciples grew up with a dysfunctional system of what prayer was and were wrongly taught to be just like we also grew up, meeting a selfish, self-pursuing, self-pleasure-seeking kind of prayer structure which is an offshoot of Self-Actualization Christianity and not God Actualization.
To get our intent and motive right, we consult the mind of God through the Scriptures. The popular Lord’s Prayer shows us a depth about this. Our prayer motive should primarily aim after relationship/fellowship with the Father: “Our Father who art in heaven,” nothing else than this. We are not starting our prayer meetings with Praise and Thanksgiving just as a ritual or routine. We do it with the consciousness of fellowship.
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
Motive: fellowship and sweet Father to Child relationships.
Our intent shouldn’t be about what the Father could disburse or give. It should be based on intimacy with the Father in heaven, and that leads us to the next phase: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” If we would press for anything in prayer, this is the primary and major goal in prayer. Motive: pressing for the establishment of God’s kingdom in the heart of men, in the space of men. Where God is the one who calls the shots in everything, His will being done in replica of what is obtained in heaven! So God can find a familiar terrain to walk among men. So He can feel at home with us, and this is the major thing that Satan works day and night to prevent. He would rather we fight ourselves and our enemies in prayer than pray to allow God’s will be done in our hearts and lives. Our motive in prayer should be very insignificantly about us. Even when praying for power or spiritual gifts, it all ought to be for the will of God to find expression, not for us to be known among men.
“Give us this day our daily bread;”
Motive: Asking for supply per day, trusting Him that tomorrow will not fail.
If we remember the prodigal son, he placed a demand for more than daily bread, got it, and cut off the relationship between his father and family. This is one of the toughest things to do for most educated humans. Our calculative minds can’t bear to live on God’s daily supply. We have so brought ourselves into complications by employing our intellect when having dealings with God, not knowing that the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Our motive each time we approach Him for our daily bread should be that we only come for what is enough for the hour, knowing that He’s more than able to sort tomorrow out of these. A motive of reliance. A motive of retaining our privileged place in the kingdom.
Conclusively, Oh Lord, may I be blind, Blind to the sight and sound of men, blind to things temporal and mundane, the fleeting pleasure of livelihood and the heavy burden of human needs. Then I come alive to the eternal fountain of truth and trust in my creator, my soul doth find rest in Him while I abide at His feet. Oh, blind me, blind me Lord, that the eyes of my heart will see nothing and no one but Thee in Jesus’ name, Amen.