For Men Only. What is Transforming Prayer?

There are scant few excuses for ignorance, waywardness, or idleness. Men can change and be transformed. Anything short of going all out is simply missing the mark. ◊

There have been many good books and programs for Christian and non-Christian men over the years. Books and programs that help men understand themselves in the context of the Christian faith and Biblical teachings. The idea is to help men understand God’s plan for mankind and therefore how they as men fit into the grand scheme of things.

Even for those that don’t believe in God.

Because the non-Christian man, even atheist or agnostic, will readily admit that mankind is broken and that he himself has a lot of personal issues and problems to work through. The Christian man has already accepted this fact. Anyone who doesn’t believe that premise is not being honest with themselves.

That being said, I’ve come across a recently released 8-part Mighty Men of Prayer1 video series that is highly accessible and easy to digest, both for small or large groups of men. It can even be effectively used for 2 men to go through together as part of a mentoring or discipleship program. I’ve introduced it to my local church and have rolled it out this month virtually to the entire men’s group after I was introduced to it by some friends in northern California.

But this program packs a unique punch.

It is powerful and unique because it goes beyond the standard fare of Christian men programs of the past 20 years. While we all need the foundational understanding of who we are as men in relationship to God, and the world, and to women, and to spiritual forces around us, we’re ready for the next generation of spiritual equipping.

This program focuses on Transforming Prayer. And any man, God/Christ-believer or not, can handle it and should deal with it in his search for meaning in this world or to kick his comfortable Christian life into the gear for which it was designed.

Fruit of Prayer = Mindset of Prayer
The program opens with a very profound perspective that one’s prayer life can be reflected in one of 4 groups of people that accompany Moses on his trip to Mount Sinai. There’s an easily missed passage in the Old Testament (Exodus 24:9-18) which describes 4 groups of people who saw the glory of God on Mount Sinai – but at 4 different levels: the Israelite masses, the Elders, Joshua, and Moses. We can even put a label on each of these 4 different groups:

  1. Very distant (Israelites) – these only seek personal satisfaction in their prayers. In difficult times, they easily lose faith in God.
  2. Close but still distant (Elders) – these believe, but still keep their distance. They show well, rest on laurels, and are far from God.
  3. Seeking and learning (Joshua) – these actively seek with willing hearts. They are developing a focused and growing heart for God.
  4. Walking in the presence of God (Moses) – these live lives wholly focused on God. They walk in the presence of God every day.

When you think about it, it’s not what you pray, or even how you pray. It’s all about your mindset. Are you God-centered or man-center?  Are you seeking God or are you expecting something from God? Most of us see prayer as a wishing tool or exercise for assisting our problems here in this life. As Oswald Chambers once put it: Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life.

Transforming Prayer
The video series defines Transforming prayer as “Scripture-fed, Spirit-led, and Worship-based prayer that results in life-changing intimacy with God.” Many of us, even with good intentions, still see prayer from a self-serving/self-seeking perspective which is not coming from a place of full submissive commitment to God’s will. This is how Joshua and Moses differed from the Elders and the rest of the Israelites. While they did not yet have the Scriptures at this point in Jewish history, men were learning to seek God’s presence and come fully under His authority and leading.

Today, we have no excuses.

Transforming prayer understands that prayer starts with God’s Holy Spirit and His Holy Scriptures – the Bible. When we humble ourselves and seek God’s presence and will in prayer, and we turn from our own selfish wickedness that opposes His will and intent for mankind, God will respond and meet us.

On the mountaintop or in our homes. He will forgive us and abide with us spiritually. We can still do life, but a life that is rich spiritually and in peace, regardless of our circumstances. This is living a transformed life.

And we can live that transformed prayer life daily as we learn from God’s Word. The first session closed out by sharing a 3-dimensional model for transforming our prayer life while reading the Scripture – Upward, Inward, and Outward prayer. This framework can be used in reading and fully absorbing any passage in the Bible:

  1. (Upward) – Praise: What does this passage teach me about God?
  2. (Inward) – Confession: What does this passage teach me about myself?
  3. (Outward) – Petition: What does this passage lead me to pray for others?

Try it with this passage:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

As the Man Goes…
I’ve always said, “As the father goes, so goes the family.” I can now add a corollary to this for all men:  “As the man goes, so goes his world.” Whether young or old, single or married, men need to step up to reassess their relationship to the God of their creation. There are scant few excuses for ignorance, waywardness, or idleness. Men can change and be transformed – it starts with our willful mindset toward seeking God in transformational prayer.

Anything short of going all out is simply missing the mark.

Do you have a transforming prayer life?
_______________________________
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

1 Mighty Men of Prayer, an 8-part video series, by Mighty Men Movement, www,mightymenmovement.org, 2020.



Categories: Abundant Living, Calling, Discipleship, Evil, Faith, Fathering, Israel, Manhood, Marketplace, Old Testament, Parenting, Prayer, Purpose

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