Made to Pray
  
Made to Pray
How To Find Your Best Prayer Types
Published:
4/1/2013
Format:
E-Book (available as ePub, Mobi, and PDF files) What's This
Pages:
242
ISBN:
978-1-44978-830-8
Print Type:
B/W

Chris Heinz used to really struggle with prayer. His lackluster and inconsistent prayer life made him feel bored and guilty. But then he discovered the key to the prayer life he always wanted—a prayer life that is enjoyable, effective, and enduring.

He discovered his best prayer types. Through this book and prayer assessment, Heinz releases a fresh vision for prayer and helps you identify your best prayer types. Find your voice. You were made to pray!

Made To Pray is a fresh, biblical guide to a satisfying and fruitful prayer life. It’s a must-read for the Body of Christ as we seek a much needed prayer awakening in this generation.
—MaryAlice Isleib, Author of Effective Fervent Prayer

Chris Heinz has a true passion for prayer. I've watched him energize audiences with his provoking thoughts. You’ll be energized, too, if you embrace his teaching.
—Dannah Gresh, Best-selling Author, And The Bride Wore White

Introduction What would happen to us and maybe even to our parishes and our towns and the whole wide world … if we prayed the prayer that we have been given? —Robert Benson, In Constant Prayer I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. —Psalm 77:1, KJV Prayer meetings are for old ladies. You’ve always thought so. But let’s say you decide to attend one anyway. You don’t really want to, but you think it’ll be good for you, the same way vegetables were good for you as a kid. You didn’t want to eat them, but they were supposed to be healthy, and you’re feeling malnourished lately. So on Friday night, you park in the church’s gravel lot and enter the double doors. You pause before you push them open. What are you thinking? You have other things to do; you want to turn around and leave. But no, it’d be the same old thing if you walk away. You want … no, you need something different now. So you push your way through the old wooden doors—creak, creak—and enter a room that is furnished with a circle of plush maroon chairs. You sit down on one of them, flashing a nervous smile to people here and there. You stuff your hands in your pockets to keep them from shaking. Yup, you were right. Prayer meetings are for old ladies. Enter Old Lady. She’s short and elderly, as crinkled and crumpled as a cupcake wrapper. The wrinkles on her face display the many pages of her story like the stickers on a quarterback’s helmet. She has had many victories. Old Lady’s hair sweeps into a neat bun like an angel’s halo. She’s wearing a purple velvet jogging suit with silver sparkles on the sleeves. When she arrives, she quickly and purposefully sets up her station; it looks like she’s ready to work. She carries a Vera Bradley imitation bag that looks better than a Vera Bradley original. She pulls several items from it: a large Bible, a worn notebook, a Bic pen, and a pack of purple tissues. Old Lady has only a few tissues left. She feels comfortable making herself comfortable here. She removes her shoes, revealing tiny, curled feet in flesh-colored stockings. How cute. Old Lady wears stockings under her jogging suit. You kind of want her for your meemaw. Old Lady doesn’t say much, just a soft “bless you” to whomever her eyes meet. But when the prayer begins, things change. She roars like a lion going after her prey. You’re terrified. Where did little Old Lady go? And when did the lioness arrive? Someone bring back the velvet cupcake, please! The walls seem to shake from the force of her prayers. The ceiling will fall from her sheer gravitas. Her prayers are infused with Scripture, fortune cookies with real wisdom inside. She quotes entire Bible passages, not just from the New Testament, but from the Old Testament as well. She thees, thous and verilys all over the place. It’s stuff you skim over in your Bible reading plan—Leviticus, Numbers, Isaiah. You’re sure that any minute she’s going to recite the whole Book. Old Lady’s prayers are soaked in faith, brimming with confident expectation that God will answer. Like a prosecutor giving her closing arguments, she waves her arms and stomps her feet when she prays. Perry Mason may have met his match. Old Lady makes a convincing argument, and obviously, she’ll get whatever she wants. But she’s not just a prosecutor—she’s also God’s best friend. Old Lady prays with the feather-filled comfort that years of experience bring—the joy of talking with someone you know very well and who knows you, and it doesn’t matter what you say as long as you’re together. But on the other hand, it does matter what you say because you know exactly what the other wants to hear. Old Lady knows what God wants to hear. But you’re not like her. When it’s your turn to pray, you mumble something, which clanks on the ground as it leaves your lips. This confirms your growing suspicion—your prayers don’t reach heaven. Of course, all of Old Lady’s prayers do. They soar right to God’s ears. They would, she’s God’s best friend. But you’re not. It feels like your prayers fall back to earth with a thud. They have as much airtime as a lead balloon. Why did you come to this meeting? If you wanted to feel bad about your prayer life, you could have stayed home. Your prayer life is a major disappointment. You try to stay focused, but you can’t. You try to stay interested, but you don’t. You’re bored, which is really wearing you out. And your prayer life is hurting your self-esteem. You should look forward to prayer. Prayer should be the best part of your day. But it’s not. Instead of running to prayer, you avoid it like you’re walking to your death, which makes you feel guilty. And who wants to feel guilty all the time? You think of the person you used to date. You were great together in a group, but when you got alone, you had no clue what to say. Where did the intriguing person from the group go? And who was this? So you yawned, claiming how tired you were, and then pretended to fall asleep on the carpet so you wouldn’t have to talk. You did this so many times that eventually your always falling asleep became suspicious. Maybe you weren’t tired after all. Finally, you broke up. It’s been this way with prayer. At first, God was really exciting, but you got bored. You made promises and resolutions to pray more. You sat down to pray, but soon you were thinking about the movie from the night before. And what snarky status to post on Facebook. You caught your mind wandering, so you returned to prayer, but then you noticed the door trim was peeling, and oh, when was this doorknob changed? You coached yourself to fight the good fight, tried to refocus. “Please bless Aunt Betsy and heal her gout …” But just as you began again, you rewrote the Facebook status in your mind, and because it was so brilliant, you grabbed your smartphone and posted it. You just had to. Then you tried to find your way back to prayer. But it was too late. You had seen a picture of kittens boxing and the Grand Canyon and what your friends were up to, which got you thinking about your day—dry cleaning, oil change, work. And you needed to e-mail this person back and make sure to meet that person. And you should get to it because not much was going on here. So you abandoned prayer before it really got started. This is the story of your life. You’re not cut out for prayer. So you get up and leave the prayer meeting. Ironically, you—not Old Lady—are the one who goes into retirement. This story isn’t unique. There are more people who struggle with prayer than who don’t. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). There are more people with sick hearts than satisfied hearts when it comes to prayer. That’s to say there are more people whose hopes for prayer are higher than the prayer lives they currently lead. Why is that? Are they asking for too much? Are they unsatisfied because they’re impossible to please? Or are they responding to something that’s inside of them? The reason so many people are unsatisfied with prayer is because God placed prayer in their hearts. Within each heart is the capacity to know God. The Bible says that God made us in his image (Genesis 1:27) and that we are his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). The creation longs to know its creator. Prayer is the primary means of knowing God. We were made to pray. You were made to pray. When you pray, God gets something no one else can give him—God gets you. Psalm 77:1 says, “I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me” (KJV). King David used the word voice when he didn’t have to. To say he cried out to God would have been enough, but David included “with my voice.” But what choice had he but to cry out with his voice? It seems like unnecessary information. But David is making a point. He also repeated the phrase. “I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice” (emphasis added). The result o...

For more than fifteen years, Chris Heinz has mobilized people to pray. A former company chaplain and house church pastor, Heinz is the vice president of marketing for EnergyCAP, Inc. He lives with his family in central Pennsylvania, where he writes at www.ChrisHeinz.com.

 
 


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