What is prayer? How does it work? Why do I need it?
Those are probably the top three questions I hear from people. Listen, I’m no expert, but I do know the fundamentals of prayer and the power of prayer. I have written prayers for both formal and informal occasions. So I could put on my Theologian cap, but I will not.
It’s my opinion that a consistent prayer life is the key to facing life’s most difficult challenges. Prayer is one of the most valuable asset we have, and yet one of the main things we neglect. It always puzzles me when I hear someone say they don’t have a prayer life because “they’re not religious”. Here’s a tip: religion can be defined, according to Merriam-Webster as, “the service and worship of God or the supernatural.”
So can we just cut the bull and admit that most of us are too consumed with everything else to pray. In all honesty the main ones who shun prayer are the main ones who run to it when in trouble, in need, in despair.
Let’s talk about defining prayer for a minute. Webster defines prayer as “an address (such as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought”. Oxford’s definition is slightly different: “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” Neither definition addresses religion.
So here we go: The newbies guide to prayer
What is prayer?
Prayer is the way we communicate with God and He with us. Got it? Good.
How does it work?
Personally I talk to God like I talk to people. Here are few examples:
“God, I’m stressed, these people are working my nerves.”
“God please help me to be a better person”
“God order my steps.”
Why do I need it?
Prayer strengthens your relationship with your Creator. The healthiest relationships have one thing in common; communication. Picture this: Doesn’t check-in just to say hello. Doesn’t say thank you for the little things you do for them everyday. Doesn’t compliment you. Your partner hasn’t spoken to you in weeks and now hits you up frantic with a need. Never addressing the distance. How would you respond? Exactly. So how then, do you think God feels when we do this to Him?
I can hear it already, “I’ve been getting along just fine without it.” Do you drive at night with your lights off? Would you jump out a plane without a parachute? Well why walk through life blind. There is no right or wrong way to pray. But you have the potential to tap into an unimaginable peace when you establish a consistent prayer life. The answers and guidance you need to navigate the challenges of life become murky without it.
Lastly, I have found that most consistently answered prayers, are not ones recited from memory or passed down through family, they are the ones that come from the heart, with humility and sincerity.
It’s easy for me to turn preachy so I’ll end it here. Below are a few verses regarding prayer I’ll leave you with.
It is my hope that you take a minute today to start creating what a healthy prayer life looks to you.
Hannah’s Prayer of Praise (1 Samuel 2:1–10)
David’s Prayer for Deliverance (Psalm 3)
Jonah’s Prayer for Salvation (Jonah 2:2–9)
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13)
The Prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10)