New Hope Church of Carlisle, Pa

Plug Into The Power of Prayer

4 Potenial Pitfalls Of Prayer

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4 Potential Pitfalls Of Prayer

What’s your motivations for prayer?

Over the years I’ve had my own struggles with prayer. Four pitfalls I’ve encountered are.

  • Guilt
  • Approval
  • Church growth
  • Revival

I have a passion for research— on just about anything that sparks my attention but the one that keeps me coming back time and again is prayer. I have a large library of books on all kinds of subjects but the biggest section is books about prayer I’ve collected over the years.

Of all the books I have on prayer the ones that have meant the most to me are the ones that keep saying, “The only enduring motive for prayer is that God is worthy to be sought.”

So let’s go back to motivations for prayer and the four potential pitfalls that can hinder prayer. I’ve experience all of these at one time or another. Can you identify?

  • Guilt – This is when we believe that if I do not pray, God does not accept me. We can even do that in other relationships as well. Have you ever felt guilty if you didn’t spend time with another person because you felt they would not accept you if you didn’t? We can carry that motive over to our relationship with God as well.
  • Approval – This happens when we believe that if I do pray, I will be accepted more by other Christians. The Pharisees had this glaring flaw. Like the Pharisees— we try to make sure others know we are praying, like one person says, “this is the wrong approach for the wrong audience.” 
  • Church growth – I learned this from Peter Lord. He asked a group of students: “If God promised you two things: (1) You would go to heaven when you die, and (2) He will never use you in the ministry again—would you still pray?” That caught my attention and touched my inner being because I knew my personal tendency to pray was so that God would use me—for me. Then to finish Peter Lord said, “God will not reduce something as pure as prayer to my  next ego-driven church-growth tactic.” WOW! That was an eye opener.
  • Revival – Like someone said once, “We believe that God will bring revival if we will just “work Him” enough through prayer. This motive for prayer made me think twice about the reason I was praying for revival. How about you?

These are 4 potential pitfalls of prayer we can avoid if we remember “that the only enduring motive for prayer is that God is worthy to be sought.”

I call this a worship-based motivation because God is worthy to be sought whether we feel like it or not— whether our prayer time is dull or energized.

Our number one motivation for prayer is God is worthy.







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