What is God's advice about this?
"Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need." (Matt 6:8, MSG)
When I started my prayer ministry online in 1995, I discovered that other organizations were praying for others for a fee. I was shocked! Jesus did everything for free, why should any mortal human charge for prayer? That is total and complete nonsense. That's not how our Heavenly Father works! I made certain that the Answers2Prayer moto would be "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." (Matt 10:8, NIV2)
So many prayer ministries bring out formulas, programs and advice that are just "peddling techniques for getting what you want from God". Some would do anything to get what they want from God, and by doing so, they show their real colors. They truly do not know our loving Heavenly Father!
Think about it: why should we have to beg for God to hear our prayers, when He loves us abundantly, so much that His Son Jesus willingly died for us on a lonely cross, so that we could be reunited with God? After all, God considers us as "the apple of His eye." (See Zech 2:8)
We don't need to pay in order for our Father to hear us. These "prayer warriors" who request money are completely "prayer-ignorant". After all, our Father "knows better than you what you need." It's between our Father and ourselves. Prayer draws us closer to God so that a relationship is forged.
Some people encourage a pattern of long prayers. Pastor Prince has a different way to pray. Whenever someone asks for him to pray for a person, he prays with passion, but his prayers are only a few minutes long. Some people complain about that. They ask: "Why don't you pray longer prayers like other prayer warriors do?" Do we truly believe that our Father would listen more attentively if we prayed longer prayers?
The Word of God confirms: "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (Matt 6:7-8, NIV2)
Instead of focusing on the prayer warrior, whoever he or she is, godly or not, we should focus solely on our Father, who "knows what you need before you ask him." He will come through for us. The prayer warrior cannot guarantee anything; however, God's promises to provide for all of our needs is a reality: "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19, NIV2)
Does this mean we shouldn't ask others for prayer? Not at all: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (Jas 5:16, NIV2) As long as the prayer warriors have a heart after God, they will be an encouragement to those in need.
One of the first prayer request that I ever received when I started this ministry came from a damsel in distress. She needed prayer big time. She had so many troubles that she didn't know what to do. The problem was, she didn't tell me what she was going through. She simply asked for prayer.
At that time, I was still attending a legalistic church that didn't even believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the Bible, however, I found that this was not the case, so I did something I had never done before: I asked God's Holy Spirit to reveal to me what this lady was facing so that I could help her better.
I received this message from God's Holy Spirit: "Ask about Tony" (Not the person's real name). I wasn't sure what to do. What if it was my imagination? God's Spirit insisted I ask that question, however, so I did.
The lady was shocked when she received my email. Her response: "Do you know me? Do you live in my town?"
Of course I didn't live in her town and I had never met her, but this was used by God to help her open her heart and share her experience about an abusive relationship. In turn, this opened the way for her to experience our Heavenly Father. She was quite resistant at first; however, our loving Father showed her over and over again how much He loved her. He resolved her abusive relationship, and she found peace through Him. In the end, she decided to follow Him with all her heart.
Nothing is too difficult with our Father. We just have to trust in Him and Him alone.
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