If Prayer Is So Important and Effective, Why Do We Often Pray So Little? (And more updates on recent suicides, as well as a report on a “transgender” golfer)

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14 Comments
  1. Word!

    I could really relate to that “I’ll just do this one thing…” and how that leads to something else, and that leads to something else, and before you know it…

    And I’m just thankful right now that we have a God who so desires to have that communion with us that He will bid us come to Him.

    Thanks, Dr. B. for another faithful, right-on word from Heaven.

    I hear it, Lord!

  2. Please define the “we” of this perspective. Many advocacy books have been written which share the effectiveness of disciples of Jesus keeping in step with the spiritual life (Gal. 5:25, NIV): regarding the prayer closet Jesus advocated for relationship with our Father, for cultivating the practice of spiritual disciplines, devotional prayers, a prayer life, finding the presence of God, accepting the interactions and voice of the Holy Spirit and the like. I am certain, from the sales figures over time of, e.g., Foster, Willard, Hazard, Murray, E. Peterson, J.I. Packer, Thos. Merton, Henri Nouwen, D. Benner, Chuck Colson, Augustine, Tozer, Bro. Lawrence, Bonhoeffer, Chas. Wesly, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas a Kempis, and the like that there remain those who would not be inclusive of such an emphatic statement. Perhaps helping us all see the view beyond Rom 12: 1’s call to sacrifice, toward what is stated by Paul as a proactive life of discipleship thereafter–as an emphasis–can change any misunderstanding as to pursuit of the challenge involved by what is assumed so. Measuring effective prayer then is the business of the Spirit of God, as well as connecting the dots to how such a life occurs. In Romans 15:5 Paul prays for the unity of all believers, based on the supposition that Christ is the mediator of our God of Patience, the comfort of scripture’s sure testimony, where hope is achieved by the virtuous nature of God toward believers. 15:6 & 7 is addressed as to receiving all believers, not just strong believers, where all are set aside for God’s service based on his adequacy alone (15: 8-16). In supposing inadequacy of prayer, is knowledge of the “we” adequately developed or adequately accepted?

  3. “In supposing inadequacy of prayer, is knowledge of the “we” adequately developed or adequately accepted?” – Jabez

    Who would argue with the claim that Christian prayer life in general is less than what it should be? I thought that was approximately the basic point.

    Right now the language is so loose you might be included in the “we”, so you’re right…he better tighten it up. Plus, he surely isn’t including himself? He should have said, “why do you all (excluding Jabez) pray so little while calling yourself Christians – a title which implies prayer’s esteem?”

    You mention sales figures, but obviously those don’t necessarily mean anything positive about people’s prayer lives.

  4. Well Juan G., Actually Dr. Brown did include himself as a primary example of conviction regarding a need for prayer life change. He mentioned his busy schedule, etc. As for my concern, it is generally, perhaps about absolute statements made in the name of God which cannot, by logic, in all cases be so. If you read the Voice of Revolution on-line magazine often you will see many emphatic statements made about all, everyone, our, Christians, sin, and the like. It seems that noone is getting it right, in spite of a strong evidence of a whole Christian leadership effort to address the challenges involved with getting discipleship right, rather than the all-inclusive negations of Christian experience. We can indeed live life by a divine yes, called life in the Spirit in Romans 8, as well as be basically inadequate. The inadequacy message applies well to many, and for a lifetime to some. Perhaps that is your experience in Christ. Is there indeed victory to be known in Jesus? Or, are we forever bound to find our vision’s gaze groundward? And, if, for example, convicted of an inadequate prayer life, what are the discipleship choices to remedy this situation?

    Do you feel it is appropriate here to offer remedy as well as negative assessment, or, am I simply outside the circle of elitest understanding in valuing such emphases? Help me out here, Juan.

  5. Juan,and all,
    Perhaps Christian educators may benefit from applying the Rosenthal or Pygmalion effect as a suggestive learning goal and tool for change rather than assumptive negative Demand Effects as statement frames of expectancy. I know this sounds high minded, and not humble, but it may have something to do with seeing Christ as He is, and Us in Christ. If we actually perceived Us being in Christ would we then see the Kingdom of God more clearly? The Great Commission, as Jesus put it, involved going to people, baptising them, and teaching them to “obey all that I have instructed”. I know this is asking a lot of certain preachers, but He asked it as His emphasis.

  6. It doesn’t matter what his outward appearance says, what does his DNA say? How can the court say, that even though your DNA says one thing, you can choose to be another? The criteria should be scientific not superficial. No one can “decompose” themselves on a molecular level.

  7. If prayer is so important and effective why is it we pray so little? I suppose it’s because we don’t often see the powerful, changing effects that come as a result of our praying.

    Are not our prayers stored up in heaven as the snow that piles up on the tops of the mountains?

    And isn’t there a time when the water comes down to the places below?

    If we do pray, let’s pray the things of the kingdom of heaven. (Ecc 1:7, Is 55)

  8. Sheila, I must confess not comprehending what you replied last here. The Rosenthal effect has to do with positive expectation attitudinal framing for achieving greater learning responses, the Demand effect with inevitable failure of expected learning outcomes due to expectation limits framed by the statement of expectancy being negative (not with DNA). But maybe I am missing something in the connection on the second half of the radio program for this forum.?

    As for the last remark on praying by Ray, “the things of the kingdom of heaven”, and as thus framed as Yeshua requested of his Great Commission assignment for discipleship training (coincidentally by the proven criteria of the Rosental effect presentation and expectancy response method),the Messianic Apostle, Asher Intrater has written this day, the 17th, appropriate enablement objectives for any of us as derived of the prayer practice of Yeshua. These appears among the Revive-Israel site’s biweekly postings.

    15 specific remedies to the problem of inadequate prayer are cited from the Gospels prayer behavior modeling of Yeshua, as summarized by Asher in three catagories. “Yeshua (Jesus) often taught about prayer. More than that, He prayed. To my count [Asher’s count] the Gospels record 15 instances of Yeshua praying. They are best recorded in the book of Luke. The 15 instances could be divided into three groups: 1) personal preparation, 2) discipleship training, and 3) before and during the crucifixion”. The Messiah’s model of prayer is developed there to grant us great insight into how to adequately pray.

  9. Second paragraph, last sentence, #8 should have appropriate agreement statements, ….”These appear among…”. It remains difficult for me to edit in the reply box.

  10. Second paragraph, last sentence, #8 should have appropriate agreement statements, ….”These appear among…”. It remains difficult for me to edit in the reply box.

  11. Yes, Jabez, I was certainly answering to the male, now female, golfer who wants to compete against women. He was at one time a commando in the services, but, now has had a sex change. The court ruled “he” was now a “she”. I don’t agree.

    I’ve not answered to the prayer part. Too often, I’ve heard prayers spoken as if God were a bank for divine intervention. Prayer all the day long is a way to hold every thought captive, but, I’ve not elaborated on my thoughts of this.

  12. Sheila, No reason to harbor thoughts here, if Godly in nature and thoughtful in outlook. Richard Foster says that God, as PaPa, is interested in all our concerns–even petty everyday self centered concerns–based on His extension of relationship. We do grow and change as we understand what is both noble in pursuit, and what seems trite, but is OK with our father.

  13. Every detail matters to God — He is an absolute MASTER of the details — at the same time, He knows more about the situation/problem, etc. than we do! But even just the unburdening of the heart alone is no small part of the healing miracle of prayer. Thank God!

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