Monday, April 18, 2011

What Is The Main Purpose Of Prayer? Psalm 141:2

God Loves You
Millions of people pray every day in many different ways, but what is the essential purpose of prayer?

"May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice." Psalm 141:2 NIV

We pray for different reasons.
     * We get in a crisis.
     * We are in need and call to the Lord.
     * We want something and God has it so we ask him.

Such concepts are foreign to the spirit of this verse. The psalmist desires for his prayer to be a blessing to God not a source for a blessing to himself.

The humble psalmist saw no guarantee that his prayers were heard because without demand he says, "May my prayer be set before you..." We in the church should be deeply grateful to live in this age where through the blood of Jesus we have access to God the Father. In ancient times the faithful had little assurance as we have. We understand that God in his infinite knowledge knows all things and is aware of every prayer prayed, but only Christians have the assurance of being heard because Jesus bought us access by his atoning death.

To the psalmist his prayer is an offering before God, it is "Set before you…” Too unworthy to hold his prayer up instead his prayer of praise was placed, or lay down at the Almighty Father’s feet, as the ultimate act of worship.

In our materialistic age, we have turned prayer into a wish list that we bring to God like a heavenly Santa Clause asking for healing, possessions, comfort, and deliverance. There is nothing wrong in praying for our needs and giving to God our wants, Jesus taught us to pray asking the Father to give us our daily bread; but the example of the verse is worship, the reference to incense and sacrifice are both pictures of worship, devotion, and thanksgiving. Incense was used in the temple to symbolize the worship prayers and the evening sacrifice was the thanks at the end of a day of work where you were safely brought home.

There are many purposes for prayer and many types of prayer but worship is the foundational essential. How often do we truly worship our God and what caliber of worship is it? Let’s follow the example of this verse and use our prayers to give passionate worship and thanksgiving to our heavenly Father.

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(c)Adron Dozat