Henderson: ‘Definition of prayer sets destination in prayer’

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LUTZ–Kicking off the 2023 Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting, Daniel Henderson, founder and president of Strategic Renewal, led attendees to examine biblical prayer, stating that he believes “tradition has trumped truth in the practice and meaning of prayer.”

Henderson said that he is “concerned about modern-day drift and dissatisfaction” in prayer, emphasizing that the biblical text concerning prayer has not changed. He then issued a statement and asked a question regarding biblical prayer, “Jesus emphatically commanded His followers to pray according to a specific pattern. But did they understand and practice it?”

With a focus on Acts 4:23-31, Henderson described the answer to his question, “We know that the early disciples prayed, but in this Scripture passage we see how they prayed.” The scriptural text, he said, reveals “truth in action amid cultural chaos” as he highlighted four points about how the disciples prayed.

First, Henderson pointed out that they early disciples “began in reverence” (v. 24-26) for God, praying Old Testament Scriptures. He described the early disciples’ prayers as “Scripture-fed, Spirit-led, worship-based” and noted that the Lord’s Prayer used all plural pronouns, indicating that corporate prayer is biblical, even in today’s “hyper-individualized” approach to prayer.

The devil, he said, tries to discourage Christians from praying together.

Second, Henderson stated that the early disciples “surrendered in response” (v. 27-28) to God. He described worship as the “response of all we are to the revelation of all He is.”

Third, Henderson said that the early disciples “presented their requests” (v. 29-30) to God, noting that their requests were focused on both resource needs and relationship needs.

Fourth, Henderson taught that the early disciples “went out in readiness” (v. 31) as they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly.

As Henderson punctuated each of his four points with prayer, he concluded his sermon by stating, “Our definition of prayer will set our destination in prayer.

The definition of prayer, he said, is “intimacy with God,” which leads to the destination of prayer, which is “fulfillment of His purposes.

“Prayer is transformational.”

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