The reason why prayer so often turns into ritual and formality … the reason why we so easily lose confidence in its effectiveness … the reason why we begin to pass it by in favor of other methods of coping and problem-solving … and therefore the reason why our children and families too rarely experience the power of prayer in us and in our homes … is because we think prayer is just supposed to work.
We’re supposed to be able to step up to the counter, submit our claim, and get some action on our request. And when it doesn’t work, or seems to quit working, well …
But prayer, though it does work — even if not always how our linear sense of thinking and impatience would like it to work — prayer is not intended just to work. Prayer is primarily designed as an environment for relationship.
Relationship with God, of course — worshiping Him, thanking Him, reaching up to Him as our loving Father — but also as a way for our relationship with Him to lead us by His Spirit into relationship with others.
The work of prayer is the building of relationship.
That’s why when we’re praying with our kids — whether it’s for one of their teachers who’s been diagnosed with cancer, or for a problem one of them is having at school, or even one of those cute little prayers they sometimes pray about having a cut on their finger — the goal is not merely that God would intervene with help and healing, responding affirmatively to our faith and trust.
The real beauty of prayer is that through this God-ordained go-between, He is enabling our relationship with Him to enrich and intensify how we relate to one another. How we relate to our kids. How we relate to outsiders. How we open up and allow them to relate to us.
Christ comes alive within these relationships. Especially when they’re connected by prayer.
This article appeared originally on victoriousfamily.org.
If you enjoyed this article, you can hear more from Victorious Family President Terence Chatmon right here on Liftable.tv.