First, several things I am not saying:
- I am not saying we should never pray for our needs and desires.
- I am not saying we should never pray for each other.
- I am not saying we should never ask how we may pray for one another.
- I am not saying we should never ask for prayer requests during a worship service or prayer meeting.
The point is this: Worship has intrinsic value, which is often lost in the context of our methods. For example:
- Music is chosen with a mind to entertain.
- Sermons are constructed with a mind to provide tips for "victorious Christian living."
- Services are geared primarily to bring people forward at the altar call.
- Events are planned for maximum turnout.
- ... and prayer is structured around requests.
So, to return to the original point: we need to be wary about how our "prayer-request culture" has contributed to a devaluing of worship for its own sake.
Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. (Psalm 48:1)