When asked about prayer, many things may come to mind. For instance,
you may feel:
- no-one needs to know about your prayers
- it is very personal
- your prayer is between you and God alone,
- no matter what you pray for Gods going to do what He wants anyway,
- to make it from one day to the next prayer is an absolute necessity
- you don’t not know how to pray,
- inadequate to pray
- you’re not good enough to pray,
- "why pray at all – Gods in control, not me".
The list is end less, I’m certain you can add many of your own. After all, prayer is very personal, very private, and very important to everyone who believes in God and in His power to extend mercy by helping in time of need. Gods helping is not only for those who are being prayed for, but it is for one offering up the prayer as well.
What is prayer?
Well, first of all, prayer is a personal discussion with the Lord, our creator, the Divine, God the Father – Himself, the Great I AM. If you stop just for a moment and think of what prayer is, you are actually having a personal discussion with the creator. Wow, how honored is that?
In the Bible we have some clues as to who God is and what He does and some interesting characteristics of Him. We read that God is:
- with you in everything you do (Genesis 21:22)
- a witness (Genesis 31:50)
- near us when we pray (Deuteronomy 4:7)
- God of gods and Lord of lords and shows no partiality and accepts no bribes (Deuteronomy 10:17)
- our refuge(Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 62:8)
- in heaven (Joshua 2:11; Psalm 115:3)
- with you (1 Samuel 10:7)
- gracious and compassionate (merciful) (2 Chronicles 30:9)
- greater than man (Job 33:12)
- mighty (Job 36:5)
- the righteous judge (Psalm 7:11)
- the King of all the earth (Psalm 47:7)
- our helper (Psalm 54:4)
- merciful and forgiving (Daniel 9:9)
- righteousin everything that He does (Daniel 9:14)
- faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- just (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
- living and active (Hebrews 4:12)
- love (1 John 4:8)
There is always going to be opinions about prayer; about who knows the best way to pray, and about who knows the best way to say what needs to be said. Who knows the prayer posture that’s acceptable to God. The questions can go on and on.
What you need to realize is that it’s not for us to determine what is right or what is wrong about prayer, that’s up to God. The important fact is that you need to be closer to God and prayer is the way we draw close to Him. You are wonderfully created, but at the same time you are unbelievably fragile and susceptible to things that can hurt you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Everyone needs all the help they can get because of who and what they are. You are Gods creation walking around in a place where Satan, the devil, is trying to devour you as like a mighty roaring lion. The Apostle Peter tells us that we need to be "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you and to all to be sober, watchful, and firm in the faith Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (1 Peter 5:8).
The Bible is divinely inspired, infallible, and the inerrant word of God. You can trust what it says, because what it says is true. God said exactly what he meant to say and means exactly what he said. Peter tells us: "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21). Those who penned the Bible we have today, wrote thing down as the Holy Spirit gave them direction. Yes we have many different translations, but the Holy Spirit still guards our minds and hearts as we read our Bibles.
I can remember being able to go to my father and ask him anything; regardless of how ridiculous it may have been, and without fear of being belittled because I should have know better. A child doesn’t hide what he feels. Even if he’s angry with you, he lets you know what is on his mind. You’re allowed to share with God that way. In the same way as my father was open to my requests, God is the same way today toward us for He asked through His Son Jesus that we "come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest". (Matthew 11:28).
You may say okay that’s fine, but I’m not a child. Are you certain? Listen to the apostle Paul said to the Galatians. "You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26). And therefore as a child of God "there is therefore now, NO Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1). You are His child, therefore to behave as His child by just letting Him know how you feel with no regard for what you or how you say it, is perfectly alright to Him. God has big shoulders, and believe me He can handle it. He asks us to come to Him and to cast all cares upon Him for "He cares for you."
Praying to God is a privilege and at the same time an honor. Just think, you are speaking directly with the Creator, the Great I AM, Yahweh, and Jehovah . . . . . and He is listening. You may have heard it said that the King of the Universe (God) will banish anyone who stands before His throne with an unworthy request – well, you may sit on His lap and tell Him anything that’s on your heart, because He is your Spiritual Father, (Spiritual Daddy). Did you know He already knows what you have need of before you even ask? He sure does! Matthew wrote to Jews "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him". (Matt 6:8).
And in addition to that, He has given you the indwelling Holy Spirit at the very moment you came up out of the water after being baptized. The Bible says "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit (Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27).
Now, remember what Jesus said "ALL things we ask in prayer, believing, we shall receive. (Matthew 21:22). Don’t put God in a box, He made the box. If you don’t believe, you may as well not ask, for without believing, you won’t receive from the Lord your request anyway. However, the flip side of that coin is believing. Believing is the key to answered prayer. And if you believe, (this is a conditional statement) I mean really believe, God in His infinite mercy will provide; for Jesus promised so in Matthew 21:22. Jesus can not and will not go back on the promise He made to you.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV) (John 3:16) And in addition to that, just think about the impact of what the Bible says about His love: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38 – 39)
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:6 -7)
God desires to hear from you as often as possible. Just like an earthly father waits to hear from his children, so God wants and waits to hear from you – even now He is waiting – let Him know the deepest desire of your heart – He really loves you – that’s why He sent His Son.