Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
The Point of Prayer

The Point of Prayer


I placed another order with Amazon this week. And because of a Prime membership, not only did I order exactly what I wanted, but I received next-day delivery. Talk about great service!

On the one hand, the immediate response to my purchase is very satisfying. Still, my desire for immediate gratification is reinforced with every new order. Need something? Click a button, make a payment, and voila! My latest wish is granted within twenty-four hours.

If I’m not careful, that same expectation can sneak its way into my prayer life.

Hey, God, I serve you as a Bible teacher, so here’s my request. I’ll expect your answer this week.

Of course, I would never say that! And I would never consciously think it, either. But how often does my attitude reflect that subconscious perspective? Asking with expectation, not humbly as a little child, but expectantly because I’ve earned it. I’ve been good. Sacrificed. Served in ministry. Helped others.

And when God doesn’t answer the way I want, when I want, how do I respond? With disappointment? Anger? Reluctant resignation? A martyr’s attitude? Maybe not every time. But even once is once too many times.

If I’m not 100% content with God’s answer and His timing, what does that say about my trust in Him? My love for Him? And my humility . . . or lack thereof?

Some view prayer as a transactional activity. We love, obey, and serve the Lord and He answers our prayer requests. But prayer was never meant to be transactional. Prayer was always meant to be relational. The point of prayer is not about placing orders with God. Sure, He tells us to bring our requests to Him. “Ask, seek, and knock” (Matthew 7:7). But the point of prayer is found in the priority of spending time to align my heart with His. To desire what He desires for me. And to learn contentment as I trust what my loving, sovereign, heavenly Father decides and allows.

My relationship with God beats my relationship with Amazon, hands down!

How do you view prayer?

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