This post came from my reaction to a comment about prayer on Facebook: “we cannot pray too much”.
Comments such as that one challenge me and I start to think about them and look at them from multiple angles… and I have to say that I don’t agree with the statement.
I do believe that I could pray more and better, and I suspect that is true for many Christians, but that is not what was said. Let us consider:
We read about him in Numbers 22; he prayed about Balak’s request; God told him “no”; and he refused Balak’s messengers. But then Balak sent more important people and offered more money. God had already answered; Balaam should not have prayed again, and yet he did. This would seem to be a clear case where someone “prayed too much”.
In Exodus 4:13, Moses prayed and asked God to send someone else, and God’s wrath was kindled at him. This is another example of someone “praying too much”. Like Balaam, this case is one where one is praying against the clearly revealed will of God.
In the giving-credit-where-credit-is-due, I have to give my wife credit for thinking of this one… In Joshua 7, Joshua is praying about the military failure of the town of Ai when God instructed him to stop praying (Joshua 7:10)… Joshua had prayed too much.
I believe there are other instances in which instructs His messengers to not pray for something; if such instructions are ignored, that would be another case of praying too much.
I think it seems clear that one can pray too much; perhaps a more accurate statement would be that “we don’t pray enough”.
Just some thoughts…