The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Prayer Language

Worship Bombs: KYRIE ELEISON by Chris Tomlin

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When people who speak different languages start socializing with each other on a regular basis, it doesn’t take long before they start merging their languages.  Each fellow steals some words and phrases from the other fellow’s language and he starts teaching those new phrases to his pals.  The English language is a fabulous example of this.  If you buy an English dictionary,  you’ll find that it contains many words that aren’t English at all, but English speakers have adopted them with such enthusiasm, that they now consider them part of normal English.  Take sauerkraut, for example.  There’s nothing English about that word, it’s totally German.  If English speakers wanted to keep their language pure, they could redefine what sauerkraut is in English terms.  But if you go into an American food market, you won’t find cans labeled as containing “pickled shreds of cabbage.”  Even though that’s what sauerkraut means in English, the Germans make it sound so much tastier by the way they say it, so English speaking Americans have stolen the term.   Read more of this post

Sicking Jesus on the Devil: The Christian Addiction to Bossing God

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You’ve got a beefy guard dog who you want to teach to attack anyone who irritates you.  First you need to choose a special phrase that is going to be your attack command—perhaps an old standard like “sic ‘em!”  Then you need to spend many hours teaching your dog to associate certain behaviors with that special command.  It’s a lot of work training animals to behave the way that you want them to behave in certain moments.  How convenient it would be if your dog came pre-trained.  Imagine if the first day you met him, he said to you, “Hey, if you ever want me to attack someone for you, just say sic ‘em, and I’ll take them down.”  How sweet would that be? Read more of this post

Treating God Like God: Simple Steps to Improving the Way that We Pray

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Intercessory prayer has never been a respectful way to speak to God and it has never been effective in changing the way God that works with other people or demons.  We only think it has because humans are obsessed with the notion that they can find a way to lead their Creator instead of following Him.

Here’s a critical point to realize: you will not find good instruction on prayer in the Bible.  What you’ll find instead is a bunch of examples of how to pray wrong.  This is because the folks who do most of the praying in the Bible were not mature enough to model treating God with the proper respect.  The ancient Jews were obsessed with “the power of the spoken word,” verbal cursing and blessing, name claiming, and other such nonsense.  They had no use for reverential submission and they spent most of their history embracing defiant soul attitudes.  Today in the Church, you’re being taught to imitate folks who were acting like sorcerer wannabes and treating God with gross disrespect.  If you want to improve your treatment of God, you need to abandon the idea of imitating the ancient Jews. Read more of this post

Communing with God: The Language of Your Soul

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Niagara Falls is a collection of three waterfalls which span the border of the United States and Canada. Collectively, these three falls can pour as much as 750,000 gallons (2,839,058 liters) of water down every second. Think about that. That is a ton of water. Now turn on your tap at home and see how much water it’s throwing down. Doesn’t even begin to compete, does it? Well, the vast difference in water volume between these two sources gives us an excellent way to explain how the language of your soul compares with the language you speak out loud. You talk to God with your soul, and your soul is like Niagara: the volume and depth of feeling it can communicate in a single moment is incredibly vast. Compared to the efficiency and richness of your soul’s language, that verbal language you use is like the water coming out of your tap: even on full blast, it just doesn’t take you where you want to go. Read more of this post

Talking to God: Two Essential Rules

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Here’s a common church scenario. You’re sitting in the congregation and Pastor Bob gets up and says, “Let’s pray.” He then starts dictating a prayer for you to pray. In other words, Bob is telling you how you ought to talk to God. This is a problem.

Your relationship with God is an extremely personal thing. Your soul’s communication with Him is as intimate and private as a man and wife cuddling each other in bed. In the Bible, God constantly likened worship and prayer to sex. He said His followers were like His wife and He was the possessive Husband who got super ticked when His wife starting doing it with other gods. In the Old Testament, most of God’s chosen people were heavy into idol worship. God took major offense at this. He called it adulterous betrayal and He put out some very crude descriptions of how He viewed souls praying to supernatural beings other than Him. Read more of this post

Asking & Aligning: The Two Stages of Prayer

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God has created human beings with a need to repeat themselves. When we feel very strongly about something, we start saying the same things over and over again, often with very little changes to our wording. When learning new principles, we need our instructors to repeat their instructions to us. When we’re down, we need repetitive encouragement. When we’re insecure, we need repetitive assurances. A relationship in which both partners only verbalize “I love you” one time isn’t going to last long. Children who never hear “good job” more than once from their parents become frustrated and despaired. Read more of this post

Improving Our Prayer Language: The Only Ask Once Rule

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Think about the way you’ve been praying lately. If we played a recording of everything you’ve said to God over the last two weeks, would we hear you asking Him for the same things over and over again? Are there certain requests that you keep repeating? It doesn’t matter where you get your requests from. You could be offering requests to God on behalf of other Christians that you know. You could be on the prayer committee at your church. You could be asking God to grow you in certain areas or help you with certain fears. The source and subject of your requests—these are both important things. But in this post, we’re going to focus on this habit you have of repeating requests to God, because that is something which is very detrimental to your faith. Read more of this post

The Names of God

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In the Bible, we find many names for our Gods. Well, to be more accurate, we find many descriptive titles for our Gods. In the Old Testament, for example, Yahweh refers to Himself as Yahweh (I Am), El Elyon (God Most High), El Roi (God who sees), El Shaddai (God Almighty), Yahweh-Rapha (God who heals), Yahweh-Sabaoth (Yahweh of Hosts), etc.

Some people want you to make a really big deal out of the fact that Yahweh refers to Himself in all of these ways. Now the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. If you don’t speak Hebrew, then terms like El Shaddai and Yahweh-Rapha sound strange to you. We humans are very good at turning strange into mystical and today there are whole flocks of Christians who are “praying the Names of God.” Instead of just saying a normal “Hi God” when they pray, they start praying, “Oh Yahweh-Rapha.” How does Yahweh feel about this? Does He want you throwing Hebrew titles in His face when He knows how strange these words sound in your ears? Does He listen extra close when you start giving Him the El Elyon treatment? No, He doesn’t. Read more of this post

In Jesus’ Name, Amen: How does God feel about the traditional Christian sign-off?

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Growing closer to God involves a lot of critical thinking—a lot of stopping to ask, “Why am I doing this? What do I believe this will accomplish?” As a Christian, you have certain habits and routines that you don’t think twice about it. You picked up a lot of them in the religious culture of your church, and since you got them from church, you figure they’re good things. This is an erroneous assumption. Many of the habits and traditions you see Christians doing today are driven by some very wrong beliefs about God. When wrong beliefs go unchallenged and uncorrected, they become barriers to growth. It’s not your job to fix other people, but you can certainly put your own self under some healthy scrutiny and ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify wrong beliefs that need to be changed. Read more of this post

The Emotionality of Prayer

The Emotionality of Prayer

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God loves variety, which is why He has created such a broad spectrum of human temperaments. Some of us are highly emotional while others of us are quite calm. Some of us tear up over every tender moment while others of us wouldn’t cry if the person we loved the most suddenly died in front of us. We all have feelings, but we express them differently. We all care deeply about certain things, but some of us keep the intensity of our feelings so buried that no one would ever dream how important certain things are to us—no one except God. Read more of this post