While driving to work, I came across a sign in front of a church advertising a fantastic new seminar. These signs are certainly not unusual but this one struck me as strange. The seminar was entitled “Learning to Love to Pray”. A web site describing the seminar says that it is geared for the following people:
- -believers who want to learn to love to pray
- -pastors who want to ignite prayer in the local church.
- -intercessors who want to develop their prayer ministry abilities.
I don’t know about you but this whole concept of LEARNING to LOVE to pray seems out of place. After all, isn’t prayer supposed to be a hallmark of the Christian faith? What is prayer other than talking with the Almighty Creator of the Universe! Here you have God the Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent ruler of the entire universe who wants to talk too little ole you. Not only does he want to talk to you, the Bible says He wants to give you stuff too:
“And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you,
if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matt 21:21-22.
In that day you will not question Me about anything Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 16:23-24
So, is this seminar saying that Christians need to learn to love to pray to an all powerful deity that wants to give them presents? The deity that is supposed to be a Christian’s best friend, Confidant and Savior and yet said Christian doesn’t LOVE to pray to this Santa Claus in the sky? This Christian presumably looks at it as a chore or work or fruitless or…? Doesn’t this give you a small clue that the Christian game doesn’t really work?
If prayer did work… If prayer was a 2-way communication… If the promises in Matt 21 and John 16 really worked… If the sick were really healed… If your invisible friend really did talk back and hold you and comfort you… If… If…If…
If prayer was as the Bible says, would there be any need for a Learning to Love to Pray seminar? I think not.