Have you ever received any of those prayer chain emails? If you’re like me you have probably received hundreds of them. They seem to have a common thread. You MUST pass them on to a set number of people because if you don’t something bad happens to you. There is always an anecdote of someone who didn’t and boy were they sorry. Ahhh…but if you obey all the instructions; your prayer gets answered – guaranteed. The kicker says: THIS HAS NEVER FAILED.
Contrast that to what the Bible says about receiving answers to prayer. Jesus said; “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”(Luke 11:9) Sounds a little more straightforward, wouldn’t you say? Just ask. He goes on to say; “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?”
Prayer works within a relationship with our heavenly Father. He isn’t going to give us anything that will hurt us and he isn’t going to answer us based on fulfilling superstitious requirements. Just as we wouldn’t make our children go through some kind of ritual before answering them; God won’t make us do that either.
I have a little ritual I perform whenever these pesky prayer chains invade my Inbox. I carefully position my cursor over the email, highlight them, and click DELETE.