“Prayer Reports & Praise Requests”

randomlychad  —  October 20, 2011 — 11 Comments

Last night, as is my habit, I gathered my kids for a Bible reading at bedtime. With a five year-old, and a thirteen year-old, it doesn’t always work out so well. They bicker, fight, look at, touch, and generally annoy each other.

But last night was different. Last night, I had our iPad read to us. Maybe because it wasn’t boring old dad’s boring old voice, they listened. It sounded pretty darn natural, too! Thanks, YouVersion–what am I supposed to do now? Now that you can read for me, what’s my job here?

I figured, since unlike previous nights there was no bickering, we could pray. Together. Honestly, I usually pray with each of my children individually (and sometimes then the thirteen year-old doesn’t want to).

Regardless, we had motive, means, opportunity, and a quiet, reflective moment.

So what did I say?

“Anybody have any prayer reports or praise requests?”

Yes, that is exactly one hundred eighty degrees backwards. It should be “Who’s got praise reports, or prayer requests?”

(As we established yesterday, on Leanne Shirtliffe’s blog, I’m rather prone to saying ridiculous things to my kids. Anyway…).

I don’t know about you, but upon reflection, it seems to me that my spiritual Freudian slip is pretty indicative of the way I live.

I tell God what I want (“prayer reports”), and then go on about the business of wanting to be noticed for what I do (“praise requests”).

Oh, there’s nothing wrong with making requests of God, it’s just that for sometime now, my prayer life is heavy on the requests, and light on the praise.

Again, I don’t know about you–this just me taking an honest look at myself. But since I brought it up:

How about you? Have you ever mixed up the two? Given God your “prayer reports?”

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Chad, we definitely like to tell God what we want when He wants to give us infinitely more. What if we changed it to “What do You want?” Dangerous.

  • I'm pretty sure anyone who prays has been guilty of this a time or two. It's easy to slip into the habit of thinking 'me first' instead of God first. Another one of life's battles.

    • Indeed. Gotta be vigilant, don't we?

  • This would be that 'deny yourself' part of the Bible we'd like to ignore.

    • Indeed. :-)My inspiration was a CS Lewis essay where he talks about having a similar “Slip of the Tongue,” praying: “let me so pass through the things eternal, that I finally lose not the things temporal.”

  • Now that was a welled played blog post! My favorite line was "I tell God what I want (“prayer reports”), and then go on about the business of wanting to be noticed for what I do (“praise requests”)." And to answer your question…yes.

    • Thanks, Rob!I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn't alone. 😉

  • Oooo, I fall into this far too often as well. You really hit the nail on the head with how you described it!

    • Awesome! Thanks, Michelle!

  • A little bitty book called "How to Have a Powerful Prayer Life" by Gregory Frizell has been a big help to me recently in this regard. Life-changing, really.

    • Hey, Matt! Thanks for the recommendation! Have to look that one up.