Welcome back to the blog series called, Layers of Prayer. If you are unfamiliar with this series, I recommend reading Layers of Prayer (Pt. 1)- Outer Layer first. It covers basic information of prayer before the explanation. Now let’s continue.
The next layer of prayer is in-between of starting to hope but then also feeling settled with how we pray. The locations are very similar to the first layer regarding prayer, church, meal times, and possible morning or night routines. If we see a Facebook status or hear a friend asking for prayer, maybe we say a silent prayer but then continue on with our day. The intention is good.
It is not for the mass of people that we want to be noticed. We want to have a relationship with Christ. Maybe we even read our Bible from time to time, possibly daily. But the issue is that we simply go through the motions. We want to feel more, but again, remain settled.
Good Intention Prayers
- Good intention prayers feel like prayer is “the right” thing to do which makes the self-feel better. Feeling toward prayer that God will answer is a smidge hopeful but still in doubt. Contentment is felt at church but does not stay soon after walking out of the doors. Groups of people around us encourage our feelings of confidence in God. However, our confidence lacks on our own, leaving confusion.
- Acknowledgment is given to God, but often because the prayers spoken make the self-feel better. There is not a lot of depth in full understanding to why God should be acknowledged aside from, “That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
- Basic requesting in prayers cover sickness, finances, and possible salvation for other people and self. But the manner they are prayed in lacks full commitment. The personal intimacy with God is not really there. Again, this is more “wishful” thinking. Ex. Praying for “this” is good, and it would be “great” if it happened.
- Worship of God is enjoyed. Worship is viewed more as a group activity to lighten up and have fun. Worship makes us feel good.
Self Focus Leads To Doubt
Has anyone caught on to the main missing piece of this layer? I can tell you it certainly isn’t us. We’re the only ones in this layer really. God actually does not have a huge role. Similar to the outer most layer which is completely self-focused this layer mingles between the self and fear. We are afraid to push ourselves to God.
Both of the top two layers can be tied to doubt. This was spoken about in the previous layer. But with this type of prayer there are good intentions, as noted, yet holding onto to each one is the shadow of a doubt.
Doubt that God even hears us.
Doubt and disbelief if He exists.
But how can this be part of the second layer and not the first?
With the intention of trying, there is hope in these types of prayers. Hope that God does hear us. Hope that He somehow can reach out to show us, yes He does exist. Faith does not have much to do with intentional prayers because there is a craving for some physical evidence. But that doesn’t mean God can use that to help someone grow.
(NIV) Psalm 31:22, “In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from Your sight!” Yet, You heard my cry for mercy when I called to You for help.”
Even the disciples who walked with Jesus struggled with doubting and they saw miracles performed by Jesus in front of them. (NIV) Matthew 14:31 “Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him, “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”
There is a desire to be drawn closer to the Lord, but not the effort.
This is touched on more in Layers of Prayer (Pt. 3)- Outer Soul
(Can’t get enough posts? Check out my second blog Peeking Beneath)