WHAT IS PRAYER: ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD
Closed eyes, hands held, words spoken. As a Christian it’s essential, millions speak into thin air, day after day, year after year. We call it prayer yet and still, the question begs to be answered, what is prayer? Where did it begin and does it do any good?
In the beginning, both Adam and Eve had one on one, face to face interaction with God in the Garden of Eden. We’re talking sit down, walk and talk, hug it out interaction. Of course the infamous episode of bad decision making skills caused it to all come crashing down. Today we don’t refer to in person interaction as prayer so, because it’s not. Although, they both nurture the same result, let’s take a dive into the details of prayer.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
WHO IS PRAYER FOR
As mentioned before, Adam and Eve had no need for what we know prayer to be today. So, in simple terms, prayer would technically be for everyone aside from those two in the Garden of Eden.
Still, there’s a long debated question when it comes to prayer though. Does God hear or speak to those who are not his children? By definition, God’s children are born-again followers of Christ. John 9:31 God doesn’t hear sinners prayers. Needless to say, except those seeking Salvation. Otherwise, we’d all be in for a rude awakening.
To the contrary though, the Bible shows several sinners who’ve prayer and seem to have been heard by God. On the surface, it seems as though the question what is prayer is answered by what is prayed.
WHEN DID PRAYER START
Going back, the first beings on this earth didn’t have a need for prayer. During the first 2000 years, or so of mankind prayer isn’t directly mentioned. It wasn’t until Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve had a son that something resembling prayer happen. It says, then men began to call on the name of the Lord.
And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 4:26
In fact, this raises the question, why wouldn’t Adam and Eve take a more prominent lead in sharing this information about prayer. However, the reality of it is, prayer is a spiritual communication opposed to a physical one.
A point often
The idea of prayer would have to come from God himself through a conscience.
Yet, further in the genealogy of Adam, it’s recorded that Enoch “walked with God”. Since mankind was kicked out of the Garden, we know this couldn’t mean physical instead, a spiritual walk with God.
And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: Genesis 5:22
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WHERE TO PRAY
With that in mind, born-again followers of Christ are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. In truth, this should prompt walking with God to be a constant and primary focus of daily living. What is prayer? It’s consistent communication with God everywhere.
Like the physical aspect of communicating. You can practice prayer while sitting, standing, lying, or kneeling. In comparison, it doesn’t matter the position more than the Words and focus of the prayer.
As much as it depends on us is the consistency. As much as it depends on the Lord, well, He’s omnipresent and so we can be anywhere and He is there. Thus, there are no limits to where prayer can take place.
WHAT IS PRAYER FOR
Prayer cultivates our relationship with God. We were created for a specific purpose, in hopes that we would receive the truth and be in a relationship with Him.
Like any relationship, it’s one filled with trust and respect. Jesus uses the term friend. Essentially, since God can’t dwell in this sin-ridden world. He dwells in those who have chosen to surrender to His Will, repent of sin, and live a life of faith in Jesus.
It’s clear; we’re on different planes than the Lord in his heavenly places so we communicate through prayer.
For this reason, prayer is foundational to a healthy relationship with Him. Prayer is used to cultivate and nurture the relationship. It goes without saying, the more you communicate the deeper and closer your relationship will get.
To illustrate, I know we all have those couple of relationships with longtime friends where we don’t talk for a long while. Then outta nowhere when we do it’s like no time has passed.
The same can is true of a relationship with God. Then again, it’s also important to remember, the relationship may not have ended but it didn’t grow either. Consequently, no relationship with the Lord can flourish if there’s no prayer.
In that case, you don’t want to miss out on your part in God’s divine plan. Or, God forbid, the abundant joy that comes with walking in obedience to His Will. Nothing compares!
LORDS PRAYER JOURNAL
The prayer journal that teaches you, guides you, and keeps you organized in your prayer life.
Without a doubt, pray because there’s freedom in prayer! For that reason, my mission is to see all find the freedom to create a life worth living and one God loves by the power of grace. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen on accident. Above all, you must be purposeful about keeping close to God through prayer.
The question remains, what is prayer?
Prayer is an intimate time with God. Prayer is a time to think more deeply about things of the Lord. This all comes to light when Jesus makes a statement that sounds a horn. He says, depart from me I never knew you.
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:23
Not only are those words terrifying but profound. Here we’re
about an all-knowing God who says, he never knew you. talkin
From what I can see, prayer is a determining factor. It’s an opportunity to open up and voluntarily share yourself with God. Sure, He knows everything but He doesn’t force anyone to be in a relationship with Him. In that case, He’s waiting for you to offer yourself to Him through prayer.
God wants to engage despite knowing everything. If not for prayer its a one sides relationship. Blah. Not even God wants that.
One of the most compelling aspects of prayer is trust. That is to say, God desires you to be safe and secure in trusting Him with every fiber of your being.
Truth bomb, I know prayer can be tough, most certainly if it’s religious. In addition, prayer can be tough if forsaken altogether.
But, by all means, there’s freedom in prayer. So, do it.
For the most in-depth and life-changing approach to finding out what is prayer, how to pray, and what to
Author, James Webber, scourers the scriptures and brings together a compelling understanding of prayer. His book is sure to change your life of prayer.