Back in September, actor George Clooney published a short “prayer” in The Daily Beast. The prayer reads as follows:
I pray that we can find more that unites us than divides us.
I pray that our nation’s leaders want to do the same.
I pray that young children like Tamir Rice can feel safe in their own neighborhood.
I pray for all of our children.
I pray for our police and our first responders.
I pray for our men and women of the armed services.
I pray that dissent will always be protected in this great country.
I pray for a more perfect union.
And when I pray, I kneel.
The issue with this “prayer” is that it is not a “prayer,” but more so a poem. You could replace the word “pray” throughout the writing with the word “wish” and it would make more sense. The issue with the prayer is that it that it is to know higher authority. If we’re not praying to God, then what is the point of prayer?
I drive by a house that often puts little sayings on their fence. Currently they have up one that says “Hate Cannot Consume A Heart Given To The Lord.” A couple months ago though they had one up that said “There Is No Wrong Way To Pray.” However, there is.
If there was no wrong way to pray, then God would not have given us instructions on how to pray. If there was no wrong way to pray, the disciples would not have asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They did ask Him because they knew that He knew something about prayer that we did not.
There is a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray. George Clooney’s prayer is a prime example of how not to pray. Why? Because it does not agree with the Bible. This could be a long read if I were to talk about all the points of the right way to pray, but I won’t go into that much detail.
I’ll only give you three points.
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. – John 16:23-24
Jesus was talking to his disciples here prior to being crucified. He’s talking here about “in that day,” which is the day we live in, the day after his death, burial, and resurrection. The first point Jesus gives us is that we must pray to the Father. We don’t pray to Jesus, even though some do. We don’t pray to the nothingness in a magazine or newspaper. We don’t pray to the masses of people in the political sphere. We don’t pray or wish upon a star. No, we pray to the Father.
The next point Jesus gives us is that we pray in His name – in the name of Jesus. It is the name of Jesus that carries the authority and power to get things done. It’s as if we come into a situation carrying the decree of the leader of the country. We have the authority of that leader because we have his decree. Jesus is the leader, the one with authority, and that is why we pray in His name. There is no other name that has that authority. There is no other name that we are commanded to pray in because the name of Jesus is the only name that will get the job done.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – 1 John 5:14-15
The third point is that we must pray according to the Word of God. If it does not agree with the Bible, we have no right to pray for it. If it does not agree with God’s Word or His will, we don’t need it. More so, if it doesn’t agree with His Word, we can’t have the faith to receive it. Faith begins where the will of God is known and our prayers are answered by faith. We have faith that what we have asked is done, but we can only have that faith if we know the Word on the matter.
The problem Mr. Clooney has is that his “prayer” doesn’t conform to any of those points and thus, won’t get answered by God. No, some of those points may get answered by the prayers of others because someone else prayed for those points – to the Father, in the name of Jesus, in accordance with the Word of God. But it won’t happen because of Mr. Clooney. Pray for him, and our nation, as the enemy is continually trying to stir up anything to stop the plan of God from coming to pass.