Column: Theology and Prayer

Published 1:10 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

By April J. Buchanan | Religion Columnist

Is it something we consider, that our prayers are influenced by our theology?

If we consider those of heretical beliefs, how it seems strange some of the things they say and do in prayer, though if we know something of their theology then we can see why they do what they do, though false as it is.

So, do we consider what is influencing our prayers? Do we consider how what we believe about God and how we approach studying His Word influences our prayers?

As often as I echo these three things, I suppose it could appear in my eulogy someday. It seems that often so much of what leads to errant beliefs and practices, could be corrected as we: Learn ‘How To’ Study Our Bible, Study Church History and Study The Attributes of God.

As many today seem to be reforming their beliefs according to Gods Word (which is good), it may not, at first, be considered how this will not only reform how we live and act, or what we sing, but how we pray.

It’s been said and I’ve repeated it often that “High Theology Produces High Doxology”. That’s true. The more we know the truth of who God is (theology) the higher our ascribed praise to God (doxology).  This is not to say that we are studying in order that we may feel something that we then give ecstatic expression. Our goal in study is not to affirm what we believe by what we feel; we are not seeking a subjective experience to validate truth. Rather, the focus is not emotion or expression but on God and the more we learn of who He is, the more we ascribe God praise for who He is.

This is true also of our prayers. If our theology is man-centered, or influenced by bad theology, then it will be evident as well in our prayers. It all goes back to who God is.

It’s important that we have a right understanding of God as revealed in His Word.

Many errant beliefs about God and about who we are, have led to many unbiblical prayers. Rather than a high view of God that comes from a right handling of God’s Word, often man is read into places of scripture of which we don’t belong, whereby leading to an exalted view of man, a lower view of God, that leads some to think far too highly of self.

It is not my intention to discourage anyone. It is my sincere desire to encourage us to pray and all the more, but to encourage us to make sure that our prayers are informed by sound doctrine.

“Idolatry consists, not only in the worship of false gods, but also in the worship of the true God in false ways.” – Alistair Begg

Grace and Peace

Soli Deo Gloria