What is Prayer?

Keep it Simple Series

Prayer is an alien concept to many. It is unthinkable to speak openly to someone you cannot see. A person who does not believe in anything or is not sure what to believe in will probably laugh nervously or look uncomfortable if you recommend prayer to them. The very thought of it will result in them feeling awkward, silly and confused. In The Best Journey Ever: A Simple Guide Through Christianity – publication date 31st March 2021; you will learn how to pray like Jesus, understand the different types of prayer and start on your prayer journey.

You probably reflect on your prayer life, whether you pray enough, if you are praying the right way, who you should be praying to and such like. Many new Christians see mature Christians praying publicly, quoting scriptures and praying in tongues (praying in the Spirit) and become nervous and unsure about their own prayer life, wondering about the right way to pray.

So what is prayer and how should we pray? Prayer, put simply, is the way in which we communicate with God by speaking to Him, praising Him and listening to Him when He speaks to us. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone without ever speaking to or communicating with them and ignoring them when they tried to communicate with you? How did that work out for you? No doubt, it caused problems and unhappiness leading to eventual breakdown and separation from that person. All parties are wounded and scarred from the experience and some are no longer able to trust anyone again. That’s the usual pattern.

Communication is vastly underrated but so completely necessary. Bad communication is unquestionably a deal-breaker in relationships. It is the same in our relationship with God. We cannot have an effective relationship with Him if we do not communicate with Him, and we do this through prayer. Every Christian has direct access to God, which means we do not need a high priest to pray to God on our behalf or to ask God to forgive our sins, as was the case in Old Testament times.

This all changed when Jesus died for us, He made it possible for every person to go to God for themselves and to be in His presence. Jesus’ death removed the barrier and all the obstacles between God and us. No one is required to go to God on our behalf and we do not have to be perfect and sinless to go into His presence. Seeking the Lord in prayer with a repentant heart gives you access to enter the holy of holies, which is no longer a physical place but a spiritual one.

The Christian needs to make time to pray. We all make time for the things we consider to be important, regardless of the commitments we already have in our lives. If you’re a morning person, wake up before work and pray; if you are a night person, pray at the end of the day; if you are good at managing your day, then take time out during the day.

When you pray, you should pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. You must never pray to angels, saints, objects, anyone else or anything. Only God can answer your prayers, so praying to anyone else is a waste of your precious time.

Keep it simple and take baby steps, the Lord knows what you are trying to say to Him. Speak from the heart. No rehearsals needed. Don’t worry about Christian ‘jargon’ and trying to fashion your prayer according to how you see others pray. Closing your eyes, bowing your head, clasping your hands and kneeling are all marks of humility and respect and can be done when you are in private. Many of these religious practices have evolved through the ages, but there are no scriptures requesting that the Christian must do these things when praying. Prayer is from the heart. It is the condition of the heart that the Lord will respond to, not regimental practices.

Make a start. You woke up this morning. Many went to bed last night and didn’t wake up, so good morning and thanks would be a good start; ‘Good morning Father, thank you for waking me this morning.’ You have a busy day ahead or you are not sure what you will be doing for the day, so share that with Him, ‘Lord I have a difficult day ahead, please help me through it.’ Add anything else you want to discuss with the Lord when you wake up. This is simply fellowshipping with God, having a conversation with Him, acknowledging His presence and giving Him thanks.

Once you start, the Holy Spirit will work with you to continue in prayer and it will become easier and more natural. But who is the Holy Spirit? Remember He is one of the three Persons of the Godhead, who is always with you to help, teach and guide you. Get back to us soon for the next blog in the Keep it Simple Series; What is Heaven!

Recommended Reading

Matthew Chapter 6
Acts Chapter 2:1-2

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