By: David Wilkerson
I want to talk to you today about a kind of prayer that is most pleasing to the Lord. You see, not all of our praying blesses the heart of God. Yet, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I trust that what I share with you here will change the way you pray – from now until Jesus comes!
I have no intention of complicating prayer. It has been made too complicated already by well-intentioned teachers who have turned it into formulas, strategies, and theatrics. Some Christians literally put on combat boots and uniforms to dress the part of “prayer warriors.” Others attend prayer meetings where they are given “prayer guides,”
booklets that tell them how to fill up the hours they’ll be there.
I am not condemning any of this. But I would like to show you the kind of praying I believe pleases the Lord most. Actually, the kind of prayer that most pleases God is very simple and easy to understand. It is so simple, in fact, a little child can pray in a way that pleases Him.
Let me begin by saying, I believe most Christians want to pray. At one time in our walk with the Lord, we all prayed with some consistency. But after a while, many believers quit. And now they are convicted by their prayerlessness.
The disciples said to Jesus,… Lord, teach us to pray…”(Luke 11:1). They would not have asked unless they had wanted to learn. And I believe that most who are reading this message would love to be faithful in prayer – but they don’t know how. The problem is, they simply don’t understand the purpose of prayer. And until they grasp this vital purpose, they will never be able to maintain a fulfilled, meaningful life of prayer.
Many Christians pray only out of a sense of obligation. They think of prayer as something they are “supposed” to do. They tell themselves, “Others around me are always praying. And the pastor is always provoking us to pray. Besides that, the Bible calls for prayer. So, I have to pray. It’s just the Christian thing to do.”
Others pray only when tragedy strikes or when a crisis befalls them. And they do not pray again until the next difficulty comes along.
Beloved, the church will never understand the importance of prayer until we grasp this foundational truth:
Prayer Is Not Just for Our Own Welfare or Relief – But For the Delight of the Lord!
Unless these two elements go together, we do not have a foundation upon which to build a prayer life. Prayer is not just for our benefit – but for the delight of our God! We are not just to intercede for things we need, but to ask for the things He desires.
Christians can be very self-centered and selfish when it comes to prayer. Often we go to the Lord only to unburden our troubles and sorrows to Him – to seek a supply of strength for the next battle. Of course, that is Scriptural; we are invited to come boldly to God’s throne of grace, to find mercy and help in our times of need. He has told us to cast all our cares upon Him.
But our praying is not complete – it is not prayer that is most pleasing to the Lord – if we do not understand God’s need! Whereas we seek relief and help from the Lord, He desires fellowship with us – intimacy and communion.
Our primary purpose in praying ought always to be fellowship with the Lord. After all, He already has made every provision for our daily needs:
“…. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on… Behold the fowls of the air … your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
“…your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow…” (Matthew 6:2526, 32-34)……. for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (verse 8).
God is saying to us: “When you come into My presence, focus your attention on fellowship with Me – on getting to know Me. Don’t let your focus be on material things. I know what your needs are. You don’t even have to ask – I’ll take care. of them all! Just seek Me. Let us enjoy sweet communion!”
Yet, how much of our prayer time is spent asking God for a better job, a better home, food, clothes and other necessities? If most Christians subtracted such petitions from their prayer time, there would be little or no prayer left!
Perhaps prayer is a burden to you. Do you pray mostly out of a sense of obligation? Is prayer boring to you? Is it more of a duty than a pleasure?
So few Christians enter God’s presence with delight, simply for the pleasure of His company. Some think of it only as “work” – labor, exertion, effort. Yet, when we commune with a dearly loved one here on earth, do we think of it as work? No that is a pleasure to us! If you are happily married, you don’t think of your times of intimacy with your spouse as “work.”