The seduction of Prayer By J. Mark Copeland

What do we mean by the seduction of prayer? To seduce means “to allure” and so “to lead astray.” It means “to draw aside from the path of rectitude and duty.”

The seduction of prayer takes place anytime one is allured or led astray from a right understanding of prayer and from a proper practice of prayer.

 

The seduction of prayer is not a process by which one loses interest in prayer and so falls to a state of prayerlessness. It is a process by which one is led to embrace a wrong understanding of prayer, which inevitably leads to an improper practice of prayer.

How can we recognize this seduction of prayer? It is evident when our prayer lives have an appearance of communion with God but lack the substance of such communion. Rather than bringing us close to God, this wrong understanding of prayer drives us further away from God.

As the context of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew’s gospel reveals, Jesus was concerned about the seduction of prayer among both Jews and Gentiles. He warned His disciples to avoid the tendencies in both camps to wrongly understand and improperly practice prayer. From His warnings, we can decipher three characteristics of prayer that has become prey to seductive forces. The seduction of prayer results in:
1. Prayer without the heart
2. Prayer without the will
3. Prayer without the mind

 

-After This manner, Pray