What is Prayer?
Why should we pray? In essence, the heart of prayer is to communicate with God.
This personal communication with God through prayer deepens and strengthens our relationship with Him. You can pray out loud, in your thoughts, and where ever you are. God hears the prayers of those who put trust in Him. God is our loving, heavenly Father and there is no place you can be where He is not listening or attentive to you.
Who do we pray to? We pray to the one and only true and living God through Jesus. We pray to the Lord God Almighty creator of the heavens and earth; The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; The Alpha and Omega having no beginning and no end; the great I AM! We do not pray to idols of stone or wood that have eyes yet cannot see, ears yet cannot hear, a mouth yet cannot speak. Idols made by the hands of men of which one part of the material is fashioned into an image and another part of the material is used to build a fire or stone floor. We do not pray to the gods created in the minds of men inspired by demons. Prayers to these will never be answered and will only result in stirring the jealousy and anger of the one true and living God of all creation and bring certain judgment.
How often should you pray? The Bible tells us that Jesus prayed often to God the Father in order to know the will of the Father. We, too, should pray to seek and know the will of God in our life and that when we follow His will He is glorified in our life. We can pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus who is now our High Priest in the presence of God making supplications on our behalf. After His resurrection, Jesus ascending to heaven and was seated at the right hand of God, all power and authority in heaven and on earth was given to Him. Therefore, we can pray to Jesus who is now our new High Priest in the order of Melchizadek interceding for us, providing for us, forgiving us our sins as the guarantor of the new covenant of grace. Amen!
What do we pray for? In Mark 11:23-25 Jesus said, ”I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself in to the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart, but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.” In James 4:2-3 we are told, “. . . you do not have, because you do not ask. And when you do ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may squander it on your pleasures.” In these passages we are told we can pray for anything! However, before doing so, we are to have no unforgiveness in our heart towards anyone and that we are not to pray selfishly lest God be hindered in hearing and answering our prayers.
Not sure how to pray? No worries, we have a helper! In Romans 8:26-28 “We know the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.…”
Oh, my brothers and sisters, that we would trust in the Holy Spirit of God, the One who, with a still small voice can reveal the mysteries and secrets of God to our spirit man penetrating our very soul having been led by the Holy Spirit. He is the same One who provides us with a heavenly prayer language enabling us to speak to God
(1 Corinthians 14:2-4). In essence, our natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit or often times what to pray for. But our spirit man through the power of the Holy Spirit is better able to communicate directly to God in utterances unknown to our own understanding.
In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Jesus has a special gift for you in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the endowing of the gift of a personal heavenly prayer language. This gift is free and available to all believers in Jesus Christ who truly seek and desire to draw even closer to God and live a life of victory in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
On the practical side of prayer . . .
In Matt 6:9-13 Jesus himself gave us the very instructions on how to pray in “The Lord’s Prayer”:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
If you haven’t already, begin to develop a prayer life using The Lord’s Prayer as a model. Set aside a time each day to pray to the Lord. God delights in hearing and answering our prayers. The word tells us in Matt 6:8 that our Heavenly Father knows what we need before we ask Him which is why we need not pray in verbose repetition.
There is so much that we receive from God when we pray. He removes our cares and worries and in their place we receive joy and peace that surpass all worldly understanding. Many accounts in the bible tell of the faithful humbly fasting and praying to God. As the circumstance allows, fast and pray in reverence on our knees or prostrate before the Lord. He is worthy of our love, worship, and adoration. And after you have prayed – wait on God. He is not slack in answering our prayers. Our faith grows in the waiting and continued prayer. God sees our tears, hears our cry for mercy, feels the groaning of our spirit, and holds our broken hearts. Do not doubt, stay hopeful, stay faithful, and strive to have a Heart of Jubilee.
Bible Versus on Prayer:
- Philippians 4:6 to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
- Psalm 17:6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me, and hear my prayer.
- Mark 11:24 Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.
- James 5:13 is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.
- James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
- Jeremiah 29:12 Call on me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
- 1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
- 1 John 5:15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him.
- Luke 18:1 Jesus said to pray and not give up!
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray continually.