The Glaring Problem with Our Prayers

Yes, pray longer. Yes, pray more frequently. But what does it matter if you pray for five minutes or ten? Once a day or twice a day?

We don’t pray enough.

Most Christians would readily admit this.

But I don’t mean it in the way most Christians probably think about it.

Usually, we mean this in terms of the length of our prayers. I need to pray ten minutes instead of three. Twenty minutes instead of ten.

Or the frequency of our prayers. I need to pray more than once a day. More than three times a week. And so on.

I mean it in terms of the breadth of our prayers. Their scope. Their size.

Christians do need to pray longer and more frequently. But when we’re praying, most of us still aren’t praying enough because we’re content with asking for things that could just as likely happen due to natural explanations, increased effort, or a swing of good luck.

A good day. A bonus. Slightly increased attendance at church.

That’s not enough. It’s not enough when we’re getting to have face time with the Creator of the universe. It’s not enough when you consider Ephesians 3:20:
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

That’s an astonishing promise. It describes a big God. But most forget the context of the promise and don’t see that it coincides with a big prayer:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge (17b-19b).

That’s a logical impossibility. The Ephesians probably freaked out when they read it. Paul maybe even freaked out when he prayed it. You can’t know the unknowable. While eloquent, it seems like that prayer is a waste of time.

But that’s only if you’re dealing with a God whose abilities are measurable. Limited. Paul knew otherwise.

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One of the most glaring discrepancies in the Christian faith today is between the size of our God and the size of our prayers. I think God wants us to pray in such a way that we have to immediately remind ourselves of God’s infinite greatness so that we don’t freak out. I think God wants us to push the limits of what we can ask or imagine.

The wildest dreams you can conceive don’t even compare to the endless power of God. Yes, pray longer. Yes, pray more frequently. But what does it matter if you pray for five minutes or ten. Once a day or twice a day.

If you’re settling for scraps of God’s power and provision.

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Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church. In just under seven years, Elevation Church grew to more than 12,000 people in weekly attendance, meeting at seven locations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Elevation has been named one of the fastest growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.

Pastor Steven has been privileged to minister to a global audience, speaking at conferences and churches around the world, including Catalyst Conference, Hillsong Conference, and the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. He is the author of the best selling book “Sun Stand Still” and the New York Times Best-Selling follow-up, “Greater.” Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.