Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Foul-Weather" Christians and Prayer

Many self-professed Christians pray to God only during dark periods in their lives, and ignore Him when life is going well. These so-called “Christians” only pray to God when they “need” Him or want something from Him.
Such an attitude is incredibly selfish. God is not a crutch to be used when times are bad and cast aside when life is good. He gives to us everything that we possess – in good times and in bad times. We should be thanking him MORE in good times for His incredible generosity.
There are four types of prayer: praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and petition. Only one type of prayer (petition) involves asking God for things. The other three types of prayer are necessary for a self-professed Christian to truly live a Christian life.
In times of joy and celebration, Christians should gratefully acknowledge God’s graciousness for all the gifts He has given us. And in times of darkness and distress, we should ask Him for the grace to bear our trials. But “foul-weather” Christians myopically focus on prayers of petition, and neglect the other three types of prayer.
To pray to God only in times of trial is the equivalent of using God. Those who do pray in that manner show that they care nothing for Him, except as a means to His gifts.
When people do not get what they want from God when they pray and complain, they are like spoiled children, who whine when they don’t get what they want. When they receive what they want from God and refuse to thank Him, they are like the nine lepers who were healed by Jesus, who walked away rejoicing without thanking Him.  (Luke 17:11-19)
Like human beings, God does not like being used. He wants us to love Him for His own sake, and not merely for what He can give us. If we treat Him as only a “sugar daddy” and pray to Him only when we need something from Him, what right do we have to demand that He will help us?
As Christians, we must remember to pray to God not merely because we want His blessings, but also to remember His generosity with gratitude, and to joyfully acknowledge Him in prayer for His awesomeness and love. He gives us everything we possess – and we should always remember that when we pray to Him.

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