What Is Prayer?

One cannot read the Bible and miss its frequent records of prayer. Can you imagine the Bible without any mention of prayer? No. Why?

Because prayer is not a duty but the most natural way one expresses oneself to God. In that way it is something personal. Prayer therefore is carried forward on waves of a variety of emotions:

Anger, sorrow, despair, joy, love, thankfulness all mix in prayer as the prayers recorded in the Psalms clearly show. That makes it real. It thus becomes the live talk between you and God.

But prayer is also a divine initiative: ``Call to Me” is God’s invitation to you. Thus prayer becomes your response to God. This also shows His desire to hear you talk to Him.

Jesus reminded us that God already knows what you need even before you ask Him. That means that it is not to remind God of what you need that you pray. But because God loves to hear from you.

Unless you have a child-heart it is difficult to pray. Because it is quite natural for a child to talk to his father. Children are lively talkers. They talk about anything that gets them excited. And Jesus almost always told about His Father in heaven.

See, He was excited about this relationship. So He prayed like no man has ever prayed. There was joy in His prayer. There were loud cries and tears too. And it is written: “He was heard because of His reverent submission.” To crown all this He sent the Spirit of God into our hearts who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

But then prayer is dynamic. There is nothing passive about prayer. Even the praying postures reflect the struggle, the fight, the agony, the continuing to hold on to God in prayer. It touches God in faith.

Kneeling, lying face down on the floor, bowing low, lifting up hands, weeping, crying out all show that prayer is something beyond the ordinary. Such praying brings God’s active involvement in human affairs. The prayer of one man or woman can change the destinies of nations. The Bible records many such testimonies.

Two important things that praying people should note is faith and the will of God. You cannot pray and have anything happen without faith. This faith is not in prayer, but in God who has the power to do mighty things. When your focus is on God and who He is; then your praying is going to be right.

Secondly, the will of God plays a crucial role in prayer. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is a constant prayer that we pray. God delights to answer prayers according to His will. Often the Spirit of God helps us to pray in accordance to God’s will because many times we do not know what to pray for.

Finally, God has promised to give us joy in His House of Prayer. This is a great privilege. When people in the world pray out of fear, here is something entirely different. JOY!

Again, many in the world observe special times and seasons to pray. But for you, anytime is the right time to pray. Because the blood of Jesus has given you the freedom to approach God with confidence any time you want to do so. This is the great encouragement for you to pray. Yes, the confidence to approach God through the blood of Jesus is the defining truth in prayer.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” So never forget the reason for God answering prayer. It is Jesus’ Name!

One great promise about prayer concerns humility. Recorded in the Book of Chronicles, it says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” So seek God humbly and turn from your wicked ways. Then surely God will hear your prayer.

For those who still doubt whether prayer accomplishes anything read how God answered the prayers of Abraham’s servant (before he had finished praying, Rebekah came), Daniel (while I was still in prayer, Gabriel . . . came to me), and Saul (the Lord told Ananias, “Go . . . and ask for a man for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying)! Again, when Jesus was praying on the Mount of Transfiguration, the appearance of His face changed and it shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light!

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