Note: This is a 4 part series: Click here to read the other Parts:

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

In my last 3 articles I looked at what I called dumb things believers pray. It showed that a lot of what believers say when they pray are either confessions of doubt, contrary to scripture, old covenant rooted and just plain unnatural and silly. The response to these articles was quite overwhelming and a lot of people asked me, “So you’ve shown us what not to pray, how about telling what we can pray?” This question in and of itself poses its own problems. The basic motive behind it is, “What can I do and what can’t I do?” I believe this too is an old covenant thought process. “What is right and what is wrong?” Who remembers that list God made about 10 things to do or not to do? Who remembers all those extra rules that were added over the years showing what is right and what is not? Whenever you try to live by a set of rules or regulations that govern what to do and what not to do, you have placed yourself under law. This is what the whole book of Galatians is about! So in regards to prayer, how do I teach somebody to pray without giving them rules and placing them under law? The moment I give you rules, do’s and don’ts, I run the risk of putting you under a performance based mindset. With regards to this, I am going to try and address the question of “So what can I pray?” without making rules…

1 Cor 10:23 “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is constructive. (NIV)

The context this scripture is about people wondering whether they can eat food sacrificed to idols or not. They are asking “Can we or can’t we?” Paul’s answer is yes. “Can we?” Yes. “Can’t we?” Yes. His answer for both questions is ‘Yes’. All things are permissible. The word permissible means something is considered lawful, or one is allowed to do it. In other words, ALL THINGS are allowed. You are allowed to eat food sacrificed to idols and you are allowed to not eat food sacrificed to idols. I know we are not discussing food but prayer, but the basis is the same. “Can we pray this?” Yes. “Can we not pray this?” Yes. All prayers are allowed. But not all prayers are beneficial or constructive. You have complete freedom to pray in whatever way, shape or from you want. That’s what freedom is all about. When I look at dumb things we pray, I am not trying to point out everybody’s faults, I am merely attacking the mindsets and traditions that keep people ineffective. Making a few changes to the way we do things can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of our prayers. The question shouldn’t be “What can or can’t I do?” The question should be “Is what I am doing beneficial, constructive and edifying?”

1 Th 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. (NKJV)

There are good ways of doing certain things, and there are better ways of doing the same thing. You can reach your destination by traveling on the highway, or you can take twice as long by going via the alternative route. There is no formula, there is only faith. Having soaking services and trying to change the atmosphere to try and facilitate your own faith for healing could work to a degree. Digging into the past has proven helpful in certain cases. Even through confession of sins have we seen healings take place. Though some of the theology behind those methods might be a little whack, miracles still seem to happen. This is because God doesn’t care so much about theology as He cares about you. The method that will work for you is the one you have faith in. In the last 10 years I have tried and tested every method of prayer and ministry I came across. All the methods I tried worked sometimes and to a degree. Some worked better than others. I am smart enough to stick to the one that works best. And that one is just copying Jesus and learning to walk with Holy Spirit. Look closely at how Jesus ministered and study it out for yourself. Look at what He said, who He said it to and what the results were. Look at His motives. He only ever had 2. Love & compassion. Don’t get so stuck on what to do exactly and what not do exactly.  Relationship is not built on rules and lists of what to do and what not to do. If the church would just quit looking for the magic method and just get back to loving people we would accomplish so much more together.

Yours in Grace,


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7 Responses to Pray, Prayer, Praying And Things Like That

  • Jeremy Penwarden says:

    I think that on at least one occasion Jesus references a third reason for healing. John 9:4
    We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.

    This seems to make working the works of the Father a reason and motivation for healing?

  • Jonathan Brenneman says:

    Really great article. I used to do all kinds of stuff like trying to find out what people might need to repent of, in order to heal them. That was what I was taught. I learned about spiritual roots of all kinds of diseases. When I became convinced that I was getting led astray from the simplicity of the gospel and that I didn’t need to do all that, things were so much easier and there where so much better results. A lot of what I learned about the spiritual roots of diseases was true, it was just that it was not neccesary and often not beneficial to go there. What was really important was to know who Jesus is. However some people have ministries
    that minister that way and they have worked hard and have compassion for people and some of them also have a lot of fruit. I just think, how can I criticize them even though I don’t agree with their methods anymore? It can be easy to get so locked into a method and rules that you miss the heart of the matter. Love never fails, and love can still work through a method that may not be beneficial.

  • Paul says:

    “What should I pray for?” is like going on a date with your wife and asking “what should we talk about?”

    That said, there is something I pray for almost every day and that’s wisdom. I’m a father of 3 kids – 3 little mysteries wrapped up in enigmas – and I don’t have a clue most of the time as to what they’re thinking, why they just did the thing they did, or how I can help them discover Jesus and their God-given gifts. (My wife doesn’t seem to have these problems.) I often feel like a fish out of water and that sends me to my knees asking God for wisdom. And He’s given me some brilliant insights.

    This may be a little off-topic, but I don’t think you can go far wrong asking for Wisdom, which is really just another name for Jesus. I only have one great need and that’s to know Him in the moment.

    And that’s usually followed up with “Lord, give me strength”! :)

  • Mike says:

    Hello Cornel,

    just been through your book ‘so you think…’! It’s awesome and fits perfectly here.
    I need to order some more for a couple of friends who are able to understand this language.

    Big hug!

    I love you for you are my brother


  • Tom Fischer says:

    Thanks Cornel. The more I grow and understand who I am in Christ, the more I find myself praying direct, clear-minded prayers to our Father. As an example, I will pray, “Father extend mercy to this person, because mercy triumphs over judgement”. Rather than, “Father, I ask you to please extend mercy to this person”. God will give us what we ask for when we’re not wishy-washy. Of course, this is not done arrogantly, but confidently, knowing that Christ lives in me and that I have the mind of Christ. Let us make sure we know what we’re doing.

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