March 20, 2013

Praying Biblically

I just found an article by David Powlison, a well-known Biblical Counselor.  The article deals with introducing Biblical Counseling in the local church.  He says he comes at it by adjusting how we take prayer requests in the church.  Though this article is about Counseling, I felt that the comments made about Biblical prayer were worth reading and sharing.

Here is a snippet of that blog post:


... the Bible’s prayers are rarely about health, travel mercies, finances, doing well on a test, finding a job, or the salvation of unsaved relatives. Of course, these are legitimate things to pray for, but they are a minor emphasis in Scripture. Even so, these topics typically dominate most church and small group prayer requests. They easily miss the real action of God’s dealings with his beloved people. 
In contrast, the driving focus of biblical prayer asks God to show himself, asks that we will know him, asks that we will love others. It names our troubles. It names our troublesome reactions and temptations. It names our holy desires. It names our God, his promises, and his will. When someone asks you, “How may I pray for you?,” imagine the impact of responding in a manner such as this: “I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and have been inattentive and irritable to those nearest and dearest to me. Please pray for me, that I will awaken and turn from my preoccupation with work pressures, recreations, health problems, or money. God promises to help me pay attention to him. Ask him to help me remember and focus. Ask him to help me to take my family and other people to heart. Pray that I will take refuge in him when the pressure is on. The Lord is my refuge, but I’ve been taking refuge in TV and food.” This kind of prayer gets things that matter on the table—things that matter both immediately and eternally.
How true these thoughts are!  Most of my own requests are for people and things, and they aren't prayers for God to show Himself and make Himself real in my life.

Tonight at our mid-week prayer meeting at Edgewood, I will introduce some of these ideas.  Our church has shown some growth in numbers, but it is important that we remember that this is God's church and His work.  You can pray for us at Edgewood, that we will see God clearly, and that His Spirit will be poured out on the people who come to this small local Church.

The rest of the article is worth reading.  You can find it here: Prayer is a Great Place to Begin Biblical Counseling