What is Prayer and Why Does it Matter?

Prayer.

Every believer knows the word ‘prayer’. We understand the importance of communication with our Father. But there can be a lot of mystery, doubt, even fear surrounding the act of prayer. We all have many of the same questions and struggles, and Jesus has already given us the answers (just like He always does!). So, let’s look at what it means to pray.

 What is Prayer?

Prayer is simply communication, talking with God. He doesn’t expect fancy words or polished speeches. He doesn’t want memorized words. He wants to hear your heart, and mine, cry out to Him. He desires us to know Him more, and prayer is the open door, the invitation into a deeper, closer relationship.

To understand prayer, it’s important to understand Who we’re talking to. It’s equally important to know He is listening, and He cares. Meaningful prayer requires faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.(Hebrews 11:6)

Prayer is about having a close, personal relationship with God, coming to Him in our excitement, in our pain, with requests, and with thanksgiving…coming to Him with all that we are and trusting Him with the details.

Why Should We Pray?

God doesn’t need us and He doesn’t need to hear our prayers. But He loves us, He desires a relationship with us, and prayer is the communication that keeps us connected.

Prayer is for you and me to grow closer to our Lord, to know Him more, and learn how deeply He loves us. God already knows everything there is to know, about you, me, the world, everything. Nothing is secret from Him and nothing takes Him by surprise. He wants you, and me, to know Him.

Prayer is for you and me to grow closer to our Lord, to know Him more, and learn how deeply He loves us.

Yet, you desire truth and sincerity. Deep down inside me you teach me wisdom. (Psalm 51:6)

When Should We Pray?

The simple answer, always! We should “never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We should “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (Ephesians 6:18a). We should “always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1b).

 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:18)

Prayer is an ongoing, constant dialogue between Creator and created, Father and child, Lord and servant, God and His people. It is a choice to personally remember God in every thought, in every situation and maintain an open, constant, relationship with Him—to put Him first, to seek Him first, and to love Him most.

Where Should We Pray?

If we are to pray always, then we are to pray everywhere. God is everywhere and He is always with us. There is nowhere in creation that we cannot or should not pray. We must pray in private and we must pray everywhere we go—always.

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

Prayer should not be a public display of piety or righteousness. For the greatest reward, His powerful, comforting, overwhelming presence, we must spend time with Him. Just as we would crave time with our best friend, our deepest inner need is time with God. Choose to silence the world for a time and enter into His presence—no expectation other than to meet with Him. He is our greatest reward.

We are called to pray privately, and we are called to “pray without ceasing”, so praying in public is inevitable, and even appropriate, but we must guard our hearts and intentions. We must not pray to be seen praying. If we are seeking the attention of man, then that will be our only reward. But when we pray to God from a sincere heart, our reward is more of Him. Our intentions and attitude matter to God.

How Should We Pray?

Abraham fell on his face before God (Genesis 17:3). Moses spread out his hands in prayer to the LORD. (Exodus 9:29). David cried out for forgiveness, (Psalm 51:1), sat down and prayed (1 Chronicles 17:16), and even danced before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:14). Solomon knelt before God with hands spread toward Heaven.

Jesus often knelt in prayer, often going off to be alone with the Father. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)

The Bible offers many examples of what our physical posture can be. Jesus even gives us the perfect model of prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 when He taught His disciples how to pray.

God does not want religious piety, memorized words, and dead hearts. He wants our heart cry, our passionate plea to Him for whatever it is we need—forgiveness, restoration, refreshing, help, protection…the list of our need is endless. Thankfully, our God is limitless!

Just Pray!The Gift of Prayer

Prayer is one of the many gifts from God. It is a blessing that, when we grab hold of it, it will change us and change our lives.

Don’t miss out on even a single moment of what God has for you. Spend time with Him right now, today. Let Him sing over you, rejoice over you, and change you from the inside out. He will fill you, renew you, and transform you through His love and peace, and not a single moment in His presence will you ever regret.

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:6

The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

 

Do you have a special place to pray?

I would love to hear from you, pray for you, rejoice with you, or just get to know you! Sign up for email, follow me on facebook, and leave me a comment, and I pray God abundantly blesses you as you spend time at His feet.

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(You may find this post at some of these great linkups where you will find more great information. I hope you will go visit some of these other great blogs!)

 

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