Recently a prayer chain came in the mail from an established church, possibly Catholic or similar. The request was to kneel on a piece of paper representing a prayer rug, with a picture of Jesus, whose closed eyes would open when you stare at them. You were to write your prayer request in the return mail and send the rug back to be forwarded to someone else needing prayer. There were testimonies included, supposedly to increase the faith of the requestor. While many people would likely attribute this to any answers to prayer, God does not work that way.
The formula for prayer is not a formula. There is no further protocol to prayer than what Jesus said in his example of how to pray that we know as the Lordís Prayer. Communicate with your Father in heaven, reverence His name, make requests for the day and take the forgiveness freely given. Forgive others. Pray for guidance. Trust, believe and praise him for his will in your life.
Having said that, the God I serve didnít slaughter his son to make us follow rules for prayer or make us look for magic formulas to get prayers answered. He gave His son, so once we believe in Jesus as the only atonement for our wicked souls, we would understand that we are the King of the universesí children, washed in the blood, forgiven, sanctified and have access to everything Jesus has access.
God is just a whisper away, and your answer is in the whisper. How ever you say it, itís the faith that caused you to open your mouth and talk to God that moves him. He waits for you to communicate with him.
Visualize yourself, unable to see God in all his glory, but talking to him anyway. Before you even open your mouth, God on his throne turns his head to listen. With a slight gesture from the scepter on his lap, he dispatches armies to fight your battles. The heavenly beings; the captain of the host of the armies of the Lord, driving forces in chariots of fire, ministering spirits with specific duties for salvation and warring angels surround your situation defeating anything contrary to Godís plan for you.
Rest in your God. Know that in Jesusí name all things are possible. God doesnít want a ritualistic prayer that you ďhopeĒ he hears while youíre wringing your hands worrying that he might not love you enough to answer. He wants you to see yourself as a worthy kingdom citizen entitled to anything you ask. Trust his word. He said, ďOnly believe. Nothing is impossible to those that believe.Ē
You may not understand the process, but be assured he loves you and things are happening in the spirit realm that would blow your mind if you could see the activity. He delights in answering you. Sometimes it seems like things are getting worse and even God canít help. But my God likes to stack the odds against himself, so that it looks impossible.
Once he moves in your behalf; your circumstances change, and you are happy with the result, donít forget to thank him, and tell others of your victory as often as you remember.
Itís just the right thing to do.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning, (Psalm 30:5).
Thank you for this very frank and honest article about the fallacy of "prayer chains". I have received many of these via emails from my Catholic relatives and most of them tell me "not to break the chain but to send it to 9 other people, and my prayer will be answered."
I think we should expose the deception and as you did, state how our LORD Jesus Christ taught the basics of genuine prayer. Scripture- based praying is also a way to pray according to God's Word.