My prayers are probably like most people’s. They center around my family and my community. Many of my prayers are just listening prayers, spending time with the Holy Spirit in order to discern His will. So I was a little surprised when God told me that He wanted to revise some of the prayers on my list. I keep a list of requests on my phone. I like to be able to review them, and when one gets answered, it moves to my praise report list.
But God had never told me to actually reword my prayer list before. I suppose I should preface this by admitting I am reading a couple books by Dawna De Silva on shifting atmospheres. They challenge me to be aware of my spiritual surroundings. But in Atmospheres 101, De Silva references a revelation her husband recently had on the three seats of prayer.
Now I am aware that my prayers need to be in accordance with God’s will and with scripture. I am not calling down fire on my enemies (though that is a Biblical prayer). Nor am I trying to manipulate the people in my life by confessing their sins for them and issuing God instructions on how He should change them. Though I will admit that I have been guilty of that in the past.
As far as I knew, my prayers represented the burdens on my heart for my children, husband, and community. Please keep my daughters safe. Please grant my husband favor. I bet most women pray those things for their kids and mates. And I wholeheartedly believe that God wants my daughters safe and my husband to walk in His favor.
The Seat of Fear
The issue is not one of whether my prayers were God’s will. The three seats of prayer are about the motivations of our hearts. The first seat is the seat of fear. Do we live in fear of a fallen world, where battles are sometimes lost, even if the war is won? Experience quickly teaches us that bees sting, bullies are mean, and we make mistakes. And as we watch our children shoulder the burden of their lives, we fear for them.
I’m afraid my girls will be unhappy in love. I am afraid they will fall prey to wicked men. And my heart cringes at the idea that they will miss their callings on their lives. That they will not discover who they are in Christ. And so my prayers for them come from the seat of fear. But perfect love casts out all fear. What does that even mean?
It means that I can trust the Father God is active in the lives of my children. He cares for them and my prayers need to come into alignment with His will for their lives. After all, I have been unhappy in love. I fell prey to a wicked man. And the God, in His loving mercy, rescued me when I called out to Him in my distress. Will He not do the same for my children?
My plea, Keep them safe! is now changed to Let them grow in wisdom and stature, learning to discern between good and evil. Let Your will in heaven be manifested in their lives on earth. Now, I want to note God wasn’t being critical of the cries of a mother’s heart. His purpose in helping revise my prayer was to empower the cries of a mother’s heart into a prayer that moves mountains and causes atmospheres to rumble. I don’t pray from a spirit of love but of power!
The Seat of Selfish Ambition
I have never been particularly competitive. Except maybe when it comes to Words with Friends. Then I am a shark. But I don’t tend to ask for a big house or a fancy car. I have asked for jobs before but not out of a desire to be promoted but to actually just feed my family. In fact, the whole blogging thing is great except for the fact that I have to promote myself. By the way, thanks for the reads. I am deeply grateful.
But when it comes to my husband, it is a different matter. You see, I often pray for his success. And my idea of success isn’t kingdom success where he leads his whole office to the Lord. I have hounded heaven to make his bosses see what a jewel he is. And in doing so, I have cared more for the favor of men than the favor of God. And also, having a successful husband is kind of cool.
But again, this is not the kind of prayer I am called to pray. How easy it is to seek the kingdom of man when it is the kingdom of God to which we (and our husbands) are called. How do I pray now? Let Spencer fulfill his full destiny in Christ. Let him walk in God’s favor, wherever that might lead him. Bless the work of his hands, yes. But also help him to surrender all he is and has to God, seeking God’s kingdom first.
The Seat of Love
The seat of love is the throne of God. He is love. To pray from a place of love is to pray Him into situations. Real prayer is an invitation. Show me who You are. Show me what You are doing. What would Love do in this situation? Fill this community with the presence of God which is Love. The seat of love is where the power is.
When I learned that I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father, my prayers changed from desperate supplications to confident requests. The upgrade was in the recognition of my adoption papers into the family of God. But understanding the three seats of prayer was another upgrade. Now I have another litmus test through which I test the spirit behind my prayers.
Am I at rest in Him? Or am I anxious about all the things the world presents as being scary? I will admit that rewording my prayer list really was a faith boost. I felt more in line with what the Father is doing. After all, He is moving in my children’s lives. Abba cares about my husband and wants to partner with him in his workplace. Knowing that one is in absolute alignment with God’s will is the biggest faith injection one could have, even in a simple prayer list on a cell phone.