Prayer is a super power. It can bring about healing. It can uncover solutions to distressing issues. It can coordinate events in our lives that benefit us. Prayer is perhaps one of the most widely held practices across religious denominations and faiths. People are often willing to prayer regardless of lifestyle choice but perplexed on how to pray successfully.
We should first consider what prayer is. Prayer is direct communication with the divine. It is not meditation. It is not positive thoughts. It is our words said to God Almighty about our heart and life condition. It does not require a specific pose or language, other than our own sentiment. It is usually received by God as an act of faith on our part and expression of our reliance on Him for help.
Prayer is not just the privelige of the professed believer. It is open to anyone who seeks God from a place of sincerity. There are many reasons to pray. When we pray, we praise, we express gratitude, we ask for help and our basic necessities. We pray if we have sore feelings towards someone and ask for help with a resolution to our problems. When we do not have the words to pray, we can expect help from the Holy Spirit in offering prayer on our behalf because he understands our feelings and knows our needs.
What God’s Word Says About Prayer
God has demonstrated that prayer is vital to our relationship with Him. He often ordered His servants to pray on behalf of others so that he could forgive them. He listened to prayer from his servants in order to strengthen them. Jesus himself practiced prayer regularly. It is one of the few activities of worship and faith that he outlined very carefully providing a format for us to follow. It must have some importance in helping us live out our Christian faith. In fact, it is vital in being able to fend off temptation.
Jesus offered a model prayer when he was asked by his disciples to teach them to pray. It is not the only prayer contained in God’s word. Favored women throughout scripture have been shown to pray to God for assistance, better understanding, and praise for God’s blessings. Indeed, prayer is shown to align our spirit with God’s will for our lives.
Indeed there are prayers that are requests to God and then there are prayers of praise to God. Mary, the mother of Christ is noted for praising God, upon visiting her cousin Elizabeth and learning of Elizabeth’s pregnancy and celebrating her own. This type of prayer in response to an act of God allows us to give God the worship he deserves and should be done regularly.
When Prayer Changes Things
Prayer is a recipe for peaceful living. It is also a way to develop strength and gain direction. Queen Esther prevented a holocaust of her people through fervent prayer, fasting, and action. Indeed the resolve to even risk death was gathered by knowing that she would place her life in the hands of a living God who heard her petition and from there worked out favorable circumstances for her to act in an instance that could have meant her death.
While Queen Esther led on a political stage, prayer can be about personal matters that seemingly only involve our own circumstances. One of the most touching examples is that of the Prophet’s Samuel’s mother, Hannah, before she could give birth and while she suffered emotional abuse at the hands of a marital rival. Having no peace of mind, Hannah persisted in saying her petitions to God. She then, having faith strengthened, went away and grieved no more. She was favorably answered by God with not only the birth of Samuel but other children as well.
As stated earlier, prayer is not meditation. Prayer is a noted act of relationship, reliance and worship of God exemplified in His word. Meditation allows us to focus our thoughts on God. Prayer helps us to speak to him. We praise him. We agree with His purposes. We tell him our requests. We ask for help to forgive others. We thank Him for what we have and needs that He will provide. We also ask for his protection. Whatever is our concern is His delight to hear.
Our goal is to maintain our super power. We are told to pray persistently and then watch to see our deliverance or our answer unfold. Be faithful and consistent in prayer and note how God changes things.