I am perfectly comfortable being asked in a church service to pray, play, or preach, but I will only commend “for effort” those who take an opportunity to lead in prayer as a photo-op for pretense and abuse.
Read my lips – naymen
You won’t catch me gleeful over something God is doing in response to a request more than gleeful about what God has done in Christ. Sometimes I think that believers are on the walls watching for something to outshine the Lord’s passion.
If you get the impression that some people who are asked to pray see themselves as customer service representatives you are not alone. I have no idea where the idea (is it African or Russian?) of making the answer to prayers immediately visible comes from, but someone needs to ask for “no more stupid decrees, please”.
However, if two or three agreeing on a matter does not make prayer requests appear immediately then the request is either (a) off course or (b) the answer is already in place or (c) the answer is delayed. God hears every prayer but we shouod not think he is busy shuffling gifts around to match our desires. Believe it or not, God has a plan for each life and he can afford to be selfish because his self is totally – at a supremely high price – committed to helping humanity.
Whose decree is it when someone decrees what God has decreed?
We cannot decree something just because we want it. We do not declare things even when they are legitimate needs. I suppose we are waiting for a prophet or some similarly endowed person to declare the end of police brutality and discrimination. Well, get a prozac prescription. Father God is not Santa Claus, handing out gifts to the good boys and girls. Why go through the motions of asking God a question or asking him for today’s needs when one is going to (or can) simply decree and declare them (met)? Abuse is knocking at the door when prayer becomes a tool for something than a conversation between God and his people. Thank God for eyes to see that decreeing and declaring is pure and empty theatrics. It is enough to pray with confidence and wait with grateful hearts. Abuse in the secret place – prayer- is quite public. Please, think about stopping the drift from being in touch with God to scoring points with the audience.