Daniel Henderson is a man of prayer, and he speaks to thousands of people each year at conferences and churches across the country and world on prayer and spiritual renewal. In Today’s Conversation, he shares what’s happening with prayer in America, and what should we do.

In this podcast, you’ll also hear Leith Anderson, NAE president, and Daniel Henderson, president of Strategic Renewal, discuss:

  • The definition of prayer;
  • Practical tips for making prayer a priority;
  • Why it’s important to pray with others; and
  • What churches can to do to cultivate an atmosphere of prayer in their congregation.

Read a Portion of the Transcript

Leith: Let’s start out with a basic yet kind of often asked theological question by a lot of people. Maybe it’s often unspoken. Maybe it’s said out loud. But why should we pray? You know, if God knows everything, why do we need to tell him what he already knows?

Daniel: That’s a great question, Leith. I think it really comes down to our definition of prayer. Traveling around the country — obviously pastoring over the years — people have a lot of interesting definitions, and I would say that definition determines destination.

I say that probably the most typical definition would be prayer is talking to God, which makes God one big ear and us one big mouth. It sounds like a one-way conversation. Some people really functionally think of prayer as informing God about what he’s supposed to do today in order to structure the universe according to my specifications for a happy, comfortable life.

But I found a definition by Alvin Reid who’s a seminary professor. I think it’s so key to help people understand why we pray. And it is that prayer is intimacy with God that leads to the fulfillment of his purposes. And I think when we start with that definition, it changes our destination in prayer. It helps us understand why we pray. It’s really more about relationship than it is necessarily our own self-determined outcomes. It’s more about transformation than therapy, although there are those components to prayer. And it is about joining God and his purposes and that makes prayer a real delight, and I think helps all of us be a little more motivated in our prayer life.

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