The reason I never read multiple books at a time is because it takes me so much longer to read any of them. This last week was no different. With three books going, I’ve only just now managed to finish one (granted, there are a few other factors at play).
Though I’ve read it once before, Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson was as good the second time.
Henderson discusses prayer, obviously, but focuses on an approach that, I think, most people don’t utilize–worship-based prayer. This type of prayer, as Henderson illustrates, is about focusing on who God is, and praying in response, instead of coming with a list of temporal concerns for ourselves and others. It’s not that these things aren’t important, or worth bringing to God, but that there is so much more to prayer.
I myself have struggled with this, particularly the idea of praying about things that our all-knowing God already knows the outcome of. And yet, as Henderson points out (and as I’ve also experienced) the way we pray about these things changes when we’re focused on the face of God and not simply the hand of God. Instead of a list of things we want, we are able to take comfort in knowing situations or relationships ect., are in the hands of one who is capable.
For example, instead of praying for healing for a friend, isn’t it much more comforting to rest in the peace knowing that God is the Great Physician?
Henderson suggests a cyclical style of prayer. Beginning with worship, exploring who God is, moving on to a response, requests, preparation or readiness for trails or challenges, and finally ending with more worship of who God is. As you explore and worship God for who He is, the Holy Spirit will lead in response and request.
As someone who prayed from a list for quite some time, I’ve experienced how, frankly, boring and fruitless it can seem. And yet, in just a few short experiences with a new perspective, I find that it’s much more refreshing to pray focused on God’s face, and not His hand. Though I don’t pretend to have arrived or any such thing, if nothing else, worship beats feeling as though you’re speaking to a brick wall.