What is Prayer
ü A practice of communicating with God
ü Prayer means that one is engaged in a dialogue with God in particular. Prayer means that you are beginning a dialogue with the One Who created you, the One who never left you. You are reestablishing that connection within your heart and mind and giving yourself the opportunity to have a deeper experience with Source. Prayer is the opportunity to transcend the world in any given moment and connect with what is True and Real. When one chooses prayer, one is choosing to step aside from all that seems to be happening and seek connection with their Father.
ü Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.
ü The Bible speaks much of prayer. But, sometimes, too often, we ignore prayer and seek to accomplish in the strength of our own wills those things that we desire to have or happen. For those of us who are too often guilty of this, we need to bow our knees, confess our sin, receive God's forgiveness, and beg that the will of the Lord be done above our own. God is sovereign and loving and He knows what is best for us and others, even if it doesn't always seem to make the most sense.
ü We so often come to the Lord with legitimate requests for healing, conversions, and needs and yet the answers we hope for often do not come. We wonder and sometimes doubt. Yet, we persevere and praise God. We pray because we know that God hears us and because we desire to see results. We should pray by faith, trusting God. We should pray consistently, trusting God. We should pray for healing, trusting God. We should pray for others, trusting God. We should pray and when our prayers are answered or are not answered remember this: If we knew what the Lord knew, we wouldn't change a thing.
ü Prayer changes the one praying because in prayer, you are in the presence of God as you lay before Him your complete self in confession and dependence. There is nothing to hide when in quiet supplication we are reaching into the deepest part of ourselves and admitting our needs and failures. In so doing, our hearts are quieted and pride is stripped and we enjoy the presence of God. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
ü I am reminded of another benefit of prayer: peace. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," (Phil. 4:6-7).
ü I suppose that we can test our prayer life and dependence upon God by the peace or lack of peace in our hearts. In all things we are to seek the Lord and in His continued presence peace will surely be our gain.
ü Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.
All of us long to connect with someone who can
identify with our circumstances and share in our day-to-day life. Prayer is
just that - a personal experience and intimate connection with our loving
May the following articles and practical advice help you develop the moment-by-moment prayer life that God desires for you to experience. 1 John 5:14-15 says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him."
Prayer – Talking to God
Prayer is a privilege.
Imagine meeting your best friend for coffee at your favorite cafe. Your friend knows everything about you. You can count on your friend being exactly where he says he will be. Anytime you need him, you can call and he won’t be upset with you. He is willing to listen and responds with love and concern.
That is just like prayer. The only difference is that your best friend is God.
God is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He knows everything you ever did and He still loves you! He knows your future too. He has the best plans for your life. He cares for you so much that He gave His Son so that you could be with Him forever. "For God so loved the world, the He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
You can talk to Him about anything that concerns you. Tell Him your desires and passions. Share your concerns for your loved ones. Talk out your fears with Him.
Communicate to God what is inside you without fear.
What is Prayer? – Talking With God
What is prayer? Prayer is our direct line with heaven. Prayer is a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Cell phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in today’s society. We have bluetooth devices, blackberries, and talking computers! These are means of communication that allow two or more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another.
To many people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God. Here are some points about what prayer is:
Who should our Prayers be Directed to? GOD our Heavenly Father
Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” When adoration is expressed, a is offered up to GOD. God receives our highest esteem (1 Chronicles 16:29; Isaiah 6:3). As an adoring child, we center our attention on our Father’s holiness and magnificence.
There is only one supreme Creator and sovereign God. There is only one way to Him and that is through His only- Son, Jesus Christ. God, our Heavenly Father, is the only one we can be assured of who hears and answers our prayers. He is the God of amazing love, mercy, and forgiveness.
- By Him, all things are possible. Jesus says in Mark 10:27, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God."
- Daniel 9:18 tells us: "We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful.” (Mercy means showing favor, compassion, and kindness.)
- God’s ultimate demonstration of love is forgiveness of the sins each of us have committed. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it” (John 3:16-17).
He is the only God who has done this, and is the only God able to do so. But His enemy, Satan, has sent many false gods to deceive mankind. Do not be deceived nor allow anything or anyone to take priority over the only true and living God.
God's help through the power of prayer is
available for all kinds of requests and issues. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us,
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace
of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus." If you need an example of a prayer, read Matthew
6:9-13. These verses are known as the Lord's prayer. The Lord's prayer is not a
prayer we are supposed to memorize and simply recite to God. It is only an
example of how to pray and the things that should go into a prayer - worship,
trust in God, requests, confession, protection, etc. Pray for these kinds of
things, but speak to God using your own words.
The Word of God is full of accounts describing the power of prayer in various situations. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5). The power of prayer should never be underestimated because it draws on the glory and might of the infinitely powerful God of the universe! Daniel 4:35 proclaims, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?'"
"If you say a prayer to God and stop for a moment and connect with God, acknowledge God, thank God, or appreciate God in the course of that prayer, its function has been fulfilled. If you say a prayer without acknowledging God or connecting with God in some way, then the function of that prayer is not fulfilled.
This is not necessarily acknowledged or understood in the moment, but by asking something of One Whom you’ve never seen, just by that act alone, you are overcoming the world.
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Hebrews 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will.
Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive” (Matt. 7:7,8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13,14), and in the name of Jesus Christ ( 16:23,24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:5).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of…
- kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14, etc.)
- bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex. 4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.)
- spreading out the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim. 2:8, etc.)
- standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2 Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture.
• Prayer Develops Our Relationship with God.
If we never speak to our spouse or never listen to anything our spouse might have to say to us, our marriage relationship will quickly deteriorate. It is the same way with God. Prayer—communicating with God—helps us grow closer and more intimately connected with God.
The Lord Instructed Us
One of the simplest reasons to spend time in prayer is because the Lord instructed us to pray. Obedience is a natural by-product of discipleship.
"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" (NLT)
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (NIV)
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV)
Is it Okay to Pray, "If it Be Your Will, Lord?"
A great Christian friend advised me that it is never okay to say, "If it be your will, Lord," when praying. Do you have any insight on that comment with Bible verses to back it up? I truly do not see the harm, because I know that God will answer prayer based on his will for our lives. Sometimes the prayers that are not answered the way we would like, end up being the most life-changing, especially when we look back on our lives
Is it Okay to Pray, "If it Be Your Will, Lord?"
Even Jesus prayed to the Father, "Your will be done,” in the Lord’s prayer:
· See The Lord's Prayer
This verse in Matthew 26 again shows Jesus praying in a similar way:
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (NLT)
Some churches teach that God will only hear and answer our prayers if we pray with confidence and complete faith, according to his will. They base this teaching on the following verses of Scripture:
1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (NIV)
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (NIV)
Yes, the Bible teaches us to pray specifically and without doubting when we know God's will. What the above verses don't say is that God only hears our prayers when we pray specifically, knowing his will. What they do reveal is that God won't answer prayer contrary to his will. So, if you are praying for God to make you wealthy so you can give more money to missions, but he knows you will end up falling into temptation and sin as a result of that wealth, he may not grant your request.
How Should We Pray?
The problem of unanswered prayer is not God's fault, nor is it due to our imperfect prayer techniques. The problem could be that we are asking for the wrong things, or not praying according to God's will. The problem may simply be that we don't know God's will.
In many instances, God's will is clearly revealed to us. The more we know Scripture, the more we can be sure of God's will when we pray. But the fact remains, we are human, imperfect, weak. We won't always know God's will. His infinite thoughts, ways, plans and purposes can't always be understood by our finite, limited minds.
So, when we don't know God' will, there is nothing wrong with praying, "If it be your will, Lord.” Prayer is not about phrasing everything perfectly, or using the correct formula in the exact right way. Prayer is about communicating with God from our hearts, in an honest, loving relationship. Sometimes we get too concerned about technique and forget that God knows our hearts and understands our human imperfections.
We even have this promise of help from the Holy Spirit when we don't know how to pray in Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (NIV)
It shows humility and trust in God to admit we don’t understand his perfect will. So, I often pray, "Lord, this is what my heart desires, but what I truly want is your will in this situation.” Other times I pray, "Lord, I am not certain of your will, but I trust you will do what is best."