What is prayer? Is it simply talking to God? It is both. [tweetthis]Prayer is listening to AND talking to God. Prayer is a dialogue, not just a monologue. Prayer is the way in which we communicate and get to know God our Father.[/tweetthis] Prayer is a command not just an option. When we don’t pray, God doesn’t move. When we fall into prayerlessness, we say to God, I don’t need you. I can do this all my own. Every culture, race, creed and religion prays. We all pray to something or someone. Some are more ritualistic about it, others a little loose.
Some of us have prescribed methods, postures and positions and some just free fall it. Some think that specific words must be included, while others say, God knows what’s in your heart and He doesn’t require all that. Some have decided that we must pray at least an hour (by the way that is NOT what Jesus said), others say a drive by prayer is ok, as long as you PRAY.
There are benefits to praying regularly, consistently and with sincerity. The bible says that God watches over His word to perform it. Isaiah tells us that as rain and snow fall from heaven and never return, so too shall the Word of God never return to him void without accomplishing what it was sent to do and succeeding in the matter.
I had questions. LOTS of questions, when I first learned to pray. You probably do to.
So what is it that we should pray? What words should we use? How should we pray? Is prayer begging or is it simply chatting? Does the fervor with which we pray matter? Does it matter if we are loud or can we simply pray silently? Must we always pray with others or does God hear us just fine if we are praying all by our lonesome? What does it mean when we say the effectual, fervent prayer avails much? What does it mean when it says we can decree and declare a thing and it shall be established in earth and a light shall shine around our feet? What does it mean when we say we ask according to His will? Does asking mean praying? What does it mean to ask amiss?
Is God obligated to answer EVERY prayer? Why is it that He answers some that seem petty and appears to ignore others that are important, at least to the one asking anyway? Is speaking to the mountains in my life the same as prayer? Must I pray as others I see in church, on TV and at conferences? Some people get highly emotional while others seem to be having general conversation with a friend. I want to know how to pray. I want to pray effectively. I want to know that when I’m talking to God, He hears and will answer me.
I also want to know HOW to hear God. When does He speak in the prayer process? Does he speak in an audible voice? Is it something I will feel? Should I use the bible as a guide when I’m praying? How can I distinguish the Lord’s voice from my own or that of the enemy of my soul? I often hear people say, “the Spirit of the Lord is saying” or “I hear God saying.” How do they or you for that matter know it really is God?
I know prayer is important because so many in the bible seem to have been so good at it. No one was better than David. I mean, the man seemed to ALWAYS be praying about something.
SIDENOTE: Why did David have so many enemies? Just a thought. That’s how my brain works.
Elijah, Moses, Solomon, Paul, Jesus, the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah and others), John the disciple, all prayed with much success. If we don’t pray as they did (in style and manner) does it mean God won’t answer? Hmmm, something to think about for sure.