Dave Acree is our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. This is a welcome to the monthly Prayer Calendar which we publish to promote prayer throughout the EFCC family. If you would like to receive the Prayer Calendar by e-mail, you can sign up for it on this page, or you can see the latest copy here.
Is one kind of prayer more important than another? Does God pay more attention to some prayers than others? Should that even be a concern?
With what kind of praying are you most comfortable?
Let’s create two categories to consider. Call the first, spiritual praying. This is a general type of prayer for the spiritual welfare and growth of someone, not easily measurable as to results and no ending point in sight.
Paul often started his letters to churches with such prayer. For instance, he prayed for the church in Philippi that “your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” How do you measure if or when this has happened? How do you know if your prayers have made any difference?
Call the second, earthy praying. Perhaps you have heard the anecdotal story of the little boy sitting in a worship service with his parents. He was whiney and fidgety. Finally, his father had enough, put him over his shoulder and began to walk out. Knowing what was coming, the boy shouted out to the congregation, “Pray for me!” This is a getting down to “brass tacks” or the “nitty gritty” type of prayer.
At the end of his letter to the church in Rome Paul asked for such prayer from his readers. “Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favourably received by the Lord’s people there.” That’s the kind of prayer we can sink our teeth into! It’s specific, measurable and down to earth.
So which does God pay more attention to, spiritual or earthy praying? That, really, is a bogus question. Both are heard by the Father. Which are you more comfortable praying? Probably the latter, but both should be part of our prayer regimen.
Perhaps the answer is to get down to the nitty gritty in both types of prayer, to know what we are asking of the Father and to tenaciously keep at it for as long as the need exists.