And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others… (Matthew 6:5).
The Pentecostal, charismatic and similar movements in the church have change the central ideology about prayer. From the quest for supernatural experience which is the central teaching of the movements, they have come to the point of believing that prayer is simply a means to experience or rent supernatural power. The force with which these movements are operating and infiltrating the orthodox churches, is eroding the real purpose of prayer in the entire church. The act of prayer in the contemporary church is becoming more and more characterize with the quest for charismatic experience.
The Pharisees religiously were prayerful people but their prayer had no spiritual value because they were ill-motivated. In like manner, prayer in the contemporary church has become an object of worship. The desperation and celebration of charismatic experience in the contemporary church has blurred the ultimate purpose of prayer. People pray to show off their religious devotion and also gain glory if able to exhibit one charismatic experience.
While, the experience of supernatural power through prayer is possible it is not meant to be sole reason for prayer. Prayer as Christian activity is an act of dependence on God. To pray is to admit human weaknesses and limitations. It is also an acknowledgement of God’s faithfulness and his steadfast love in appreciation.
Prayer is meant to keep us united and close to God. It is the fundamental way man relates to God. It is a line of communication that practically sustain man’s relationship with God. A life of prayer in itself is a life of miracle. Through it, God’s will is revealed and done in our lives. There can be no greater miracle to seek than prayer itself because by it God works in and through us.