“Who’s at the center of your prayers?” I’ve started off with this question during most of my talks at Basileia, InterVarsity’s Spring Leadership Retreat for New York and New Jersey.
It’s an important thing to ask. We know that God should be at the center. But money, comfort, and safety too often take center stage in our prayers. While praying for these things isn’t necessarily wrong, our fixation on them reveals what we believe about God: that he’s not a good provider, the giver of peace, or all-powerful.
Matthew 13:44, one of my favorite parables, shows what happens when we do put God at the center. Here Jesus explained, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” I’ve always thought this is a beautiful illustration of people who weren’t followers of Jesus having life-transforming encounters with him.