skydiving from a tree

Skydiving Simple questions:  Is it okay to pray for your friends’ cousins’ broken toe?  Or for it to be sunny today?  Or for the Cubs to win?  Or for God to smote the slow driver in front of you?

I think we often don’t stop to think about what really matters when we pray.  We may pray at the dinner table and give thanks for our food, but how deeply do we mean that?  Or maybe we only really pray when things are falling apart in our life.  If we only pray in crises or in shallow ways, I think we take life for granted.  We’re missing out.  Not praying deeply and deeply-frequently is like skydiving from a tree.  We don’t get the full height and depth and width and richness and perspective and expanse and the wind of the heavens.  Without growing in a life of rich prayer, we don’t do life justice.

Harder questions:  When are we supposed to pray?  How often?  About what?  Why do we so often treat it like an add-on to our busy lives?


  1. That’s great Andrew! I’ve heard good reports about your trip… and now I understand it was because you guys were serious with God- not just well led and organized! Thanks for the Yancey reference… many people suggested I read his book on prayer after I preached last week. Perhaps I’ll have to pick that one up.

  2. So, we just got back from a missions trip and I must say that we had a pretty strong focus on prayer times. During our non-serving hours, whatever that was, we spent at least 20 minutes alone and in silence. Not necessarily prayer, but many people I talked to said they definately thought thaey heard the voice of God in those times and that he had somethihng he wanted to tell them.
    As for how often, I am erading Yancey’s book on prayer right now and I have noticed that many of the names in Christianity we could all point to who have made a difference in the world have been fervent prayers, spending hours a day in prayer and meditation. The prime example of this is JEsus who spent hours in the mornings alone with his Father. Paul even mentions prayer for every church he writes a letter for. I believe there is a dertermined and disciplined time we should be setting aside in our day to just spend that time with God, but I hope that my whole life may be reflected as a prayer, or a sweet fragrance offering to God. That is also my prayer for those who meet me, that tey would ‘smell’ God in everythihng I do.

  3. Thanks for sharing this with us, Mark! You’ve generated a couple thoughts for me: 1) I really think it’s cool that you volunteer on ambulances! You are my hero! 2) I think you are not alone in praying for good stuff for yourself that means bad stuff for others. During Hurricane Katrina, I prayed really hard that the hurricane wouldn’t hit my parents house in Mobile… and it hit New Orleans! I didn’t feel very good about that! (Not that God moved the hurricane for my sake and the detriment of others…)
    I guess I’m saying that we need to think more deeply about what we pray for. It’s not wrong for you to pray that you have the opportunity to help people that night… because there will always be people that need your ambulance help.

  4. I’ve done some volunteering on ambulances lately and you find yourself in some strange prayer scenerios. It’s always a lottery as to whether you get a call, and since your giving up your evening you want the experience. So I’m always praying that I’ll get a call. Then when you get the call you pray that the patient will get better!

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