A False View of Prayer

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Ill.

Some have averred, avowed, and avouched lately that it is wrong to pray for safety on trips or for physical comfort for ourselves and our loved ones. Their doctrine is that we ought only to pray for spiritual matters.

Their contention is false. Paul mentioned "trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life" (2. Cor. 1: 8). Then he affirmed his trust in God and spoke of his deliverance and added, "Ye also helping together by prayer for us" (v. 11). They aided him from physical harm through prayer.

Delivering the gifts unto the needy saints in Jerusalem was a hazardous task. Paul and the other messengers were in constant "perils of robbers" (2 Cor.11: 26). Hence, he said, "Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints" (Rom. 15:30, 31).

Here he prayed for the physical and the spiritual, if we may categorize them. He prayed for the ability to get through to the need with the gifts without loss, and he prayed that the Jews would not be too proud or prejudiced to accept aid from their Gentile brethren. The answer to both phases and facets of the prayer is given in Acts 21:17, "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly."

And was not our Lord praying for physical aid in Matt. 26:39?

CONCLUSION: Let us not be guilty of desecrating and dishonoring the power and efficacy of prayer, "but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4:6).

January 14, 1971