I’m not sure how often you pray, when is the last time you prayed or even if you believe that prayer is important. I do. I’ve learned to talk to God and listen so that whatever he wants me to know I don’t miss it. I confess there are times when I don’t “feel” like praying. And (more confession) there was a time in my saved life I didn’t want to pray. But as I have walked with God and calmed down considerably, I value the conversations we have.
Prayer isnt just talking selfishly about our wants as God cannot be manipulated by our prayers. While we tend to talk to God in abundance, it appears that he doesn’t speak in great volumes to us in return. But when he does, its undeniable.
Prayer is the primary form of communication with God. It is, in essence, a conversation between divinity and humanity.
The great Christian writer Oswald Chambers said “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” Indeed, we cannot see our prayers as a means to an end but rather as both the means and the end.
There are many types of prayers:
Agreement – Our will submits to the Father’s will. The other aspect of agreement is when we pray with another person with one heart towards what is desired as in Matthew 18:19
Meditation – Quietly thinking on the Word of God and recalling it either in silence or whisper. Psalms 1 says a man is blessed when his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Confession – Acknowledgement to God personal wrongdoing. John 1:9 tells us If (in prayer) we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiveness – Acknowledgment before God releasing someone who has done you personal wrong. Jesus himself prayed the prayer of forgiveness on the cross. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34
Thanksgiving – A proclamation of praise for what God has done.
Praise – Expression of adoration for what God has done. No one biblical writer could put it down like the prolific warrior/praiser King David. His psalms (songs) are the basis of countless songs and prayers. My favorite: the 103rd Psalms.
Petition – A personal request for things that we need. There is nothing wrong with asking God for personal needs. We are encouraged to do just that in Philippians 4:6. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Intercession – Bringing another’s petition to God on their behalf. The church prayed for the release of the Apostle Peter when he was imprisoned in Acts 12:5.
Listening – Active quietness in the presence of God in order to hear Him speak. The child Samuel was instructed to say “speak Lord, for your servant listens” in 1 Samuel 3:9-10.
There are some misconceptions about prayer. Some believe that prayers should not be public, only private. Not true. This misconception comes from Jesus warning to his followers in Matt 6:5 about emulating the Pharisees.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
His warning was not against public prayer, but public prayer used as a cloak for hypocrisy. Please understand that public prayer does not bring the same personal results as secret, closet prayer. Reference Matthew 6:6.
I believe the greatest prayer we can pray is “Lord, let your will be done”. When you don’t know what to say, its best to pray that his will be done. Knowing God like I do, that prayer will certainly always be right and true.
Question: Has God ever specifically answered your prayers?