#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
Accidental habits are easy to form and hard to break. There’s a general tendency as christians to develop a habit of saying certain prayers because they make us feel more religious. We must deal with this mindset before we pass it on to the next generation. A big part of this is praying wrongly or praying amiss. We tend to say prayers for things that we’ve already got or say prayers that in effect have no meaning. When we petition our father in heaven for one thing or the other, we must do well to phrase our words correctly, lest we be like the hypocrites who babble meaningless prayers.
There’s a great article on Relevant that describes this perfectly. It’s written by TODD LESHER and it’s titled: 3 Prayers We Need to Stop Saying. I love this article because it doesn’t just deal with the problem, it actually offers solutions. After every wrongly phrased prayer, Todd suggests a better way of saying the same prayer!
Spiritual habits can be healthy, harmless or harmful. When these habits don’t engage our hearts and minds, they’ll never touch our souls. This kind of aloofness happens most prominently with the practice of prayer. Some prayers can be dropped because they tend to be more habit than heart-engaging. These prayers aren’t bad in themselves, but they often pray for what we already possess. Some prayers said from memory possess absolutely zero meaning to the person reciting it. Other prayers are just for show, flashy displays of vocabulary and theology.
I couldn’t agree more.
1. ‘The Blessing’
“Bless this food O Lord for Christ’s sake, Amen.”
We are often fond of blessing our meals before we eat them, but that’s not what Jesus did. Jesus gave thanks for His meals, not blessed them. Todd writes:
While I’m all for thanking God before meals, there’s no need to “bless” the food, because it already is. When God created the universe, He called it all good—the edible and inedible. When God labels something as “good,” that’s all the blessing it needs. Fruits, veggies, meat and ice cream—all blessed. We don’t need to bless it, but we should say “thanks” for it.
Alternative Prayer: “God, thank you for your provision (and for my parents or spouse or roommate who bought it). Thank you for food, the means for food and the ability to eat and enjoy food.”
2. ‘Be With Us’
“God please be with us everywhere we go today”
God is omnipresent a.k.a He is everywhere! His eyes run to and fro all through the earth! Do you think God isn’t there on the days you don’t pray “Lord please be with me” God is always with us — “Emmanuel” literally means God with us! Todd writes:
This is a well-meaning prayer. Who doesn’t want God to be with them? It’s just misinformed. As food is already blessed, God is already with us. There is no place that He is not. The Scriptures tell us that God will be wherever we go—to the heights or in the depths, in the light and in the shadows. When someone prays, God, be with us, they’re praying for something that is already answered. As you read the Scriptures, you’ll see story after story of people who didn’t walk in and out of God’s presence, but woke up to the reality that God was with them the whole time (to this I add, e.g Jonah!) Wherever we go, God is there. We don’t need to ask God to show up, we just need to wake up to how He is walking with us.
Alternative Prayer: “God, I know you’re with me, open my eyes to see your activity within me, and all around me.”
It is so important that we change our thinking to reflect spiritual reality so that we can be better christians. It would do us so much good to realise the little mistakes we make when we pray and take the necessary steps to correct them!
Hope you've enjoyed this! Please be encouraged to read the rest of the article: 3 Prayers we need to stop saying by Todd Lesher on Relevant Magazine and share with us via our social media pages any other misled prayers you think christians need to let go of.