Rolling Out

Gospel artist and pastor Travis Greene asks an important question in new book

The pastor challenges readers about praying for the right things

Grammy Award-nominated gospel artist and pastor Travis Greene’s motto is: “Learn to ask what God wants for you, not just what you want.” In his debut book Are You Praying for the Wrong Thing? Greene challenges the readers on whether they’re praying for the right thing and if they’re preparing for what they’ve asked for.

Greene spoke with rolling out about the book and how people can pray the correct way.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was driving in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I was giving a testimony about how this church was able to grow and buy this property. Immediately, I got kind of upset. I was, like, “Man, we’ve been working our butts off.” It seemed like we were not getting the resources we needed, the property we needed and that’s when the concept came to me and when God convicted me that maybe I was praying for the wrong thing. Maybe I was praying for stuff when I should have been praying for strategy. Maybe I was praying for miracles when I should have been praying for better management and more people … [and] for better processes.

The book is about management and talking about stewardship. I think so many times people think that they’re waiting on God, and the truth is, sometimes he’s waiting on us. I talked about this in the book, and I give tools to be elevated to what I like to call the trust zone with God. God loves everyone … and will use anyone, but he doesn’t trust everybody with his resources. The proof of your expectation is your preparation. This book is not a book about how to pray, but rather challenging men. So many times, like I said, we’re praying for miracles, and that could be the wrong thing. When we get ready to prepare our hearts and prepare our lives for what it is that we believe God for, then ultimately we’ll be able to hold in our hands what we’ve been holding in our hearts.

How can people pray the correct way?

I don’t think there’s technically a wrong way to pray. I think the Lord desires and loves fellowship and communion with us. I don’t want to discourage anyone. I just think sometimes even in our right way of praying, we’re praying for the wrong things. We’re praying for God’s hands to be involved with something that our hands haven’t been involved with. We’re praying for physical healing but are mismanaging our health. We’re praying for a restoration in a relationship, but we’re unwilling to be humble enough to apologize. We’re praying for God to do something as if he’s a genie — or it’s as if he’s Santa — without embracing or even being open to what our responsibility is. For anyone who has been praying in one way, I would start by just really encouraging you to delight yourself in the Lord.

That means to worship him, to get connected to a local church; that means to serve, that means to put yourself in a realm of optimism and positivity so that the fruit of the Spirit can be even more developed and seen and shown throughout your life. That means to be a blessing instead of just waiting on a blessing. One thing I often say the quickest way to a miracle is becoming one. Become the seed of the need that you have. When you do that, you’ll find a route to the intangibles of God, and you’ll start seeing his hand at work in ways that you’ve overlooked.

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