John Piper states in Desiring God that, “We see repeatedly in Scripture that prayer is a walkie-talkie for warfare, not a domestic intercom for increasing our conveniences. The point of prayer is empower for mission:” (Ephesians 6:19, Colossians 4:3, Romans 15:30-31, II Thessalonians 3:1, Matthew 9:38)
I still remember the first set of walkie-talkie’s I received. It was a gift from my grandparents for Christmas and I remember the excitement as I unwrapped them at their home in Portland, Oregon on Christmas Eve. My brother and I had lots of fun calling each other back and forth over the years and communicating all kinds of critical information over them as we grew up.
Piper’s comment rests in a section detailing the fact that Scripture describes the Christian state as one of being at war. We are engaged in the spiritual battle that wages war across this globe for the souls of men. And yet, we have taken this valuable tool that God has entrusted to us (prayer) and have ‘tried to turn it into a civilian intercom to call the servants for another cushion in the den.”
Wow, this cuts to the quick! How rarely is the primary purpose of my prayer, to engage God in assistance with the mission He’s given me to complete?! He stands ready, willing, and able to assist in providing what is needed for victory, but I’ve failed to call Him for help. How many times have I pushed the ‘send’ button and requested not a single thing that would assist me in fulfilling my mission on this earth and have instead clogged the radio waves with comfortable, temporal pleas. Perhaps we’d received more answers to prayer if we aligned our requests with the mission at hand and then entreated our leader to send the necessary aid!