What is prayer

What is prayer?
What is prayer? Prayer is a very simple thing: communication with God. Though often directed heavenward, the reverse can also be true. Therefore, prayer is not a mere repetition of words, a position of the body, or a means to participate in a religious society. Prayer is the human heart before its maker. It is appropriate anytime and ideally, all the time.

God hears the prayers of all who sincerely call upon Him (Psalm 145:18), to those who know Him, He becomes like a father. Some people may see that as disregarding the exalted status of the Almighty and Unknowable One. In fact, fatherhood began not with the birth of human babies, but with God Himself (Ephesians 3:14-15). The more we know and follow His ways, the more we understand Him to be our spiritual Father, the Creator of our souls. Jesus, therefore, said this about prayer:

    “…when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. …But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven ….’” (Matthew 6:5-9).
A bit later in the same powerful sermon, Jesus also said this about prayer:
    “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11).

What is prayer? – Why doesn’t God always answer the way we want?
Those are the basic answers to “What is Prayer?” Sometimes, however, children ask their parents for harmful things. God does not promise to give us those. At other times, like foolish children, we wander away from Him. We may claim to follow God, but we pray only to satisfy our greed and lust. God will not answer such prayers (James 4:1-3). Instead, He may draw back or even oppose us, hoping that we change our ways.

    “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? …That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up’” (James 4:4, 6-10).
Finally, there are times when, asking with a pure heart for what is good, God says no in lieu of something better. That happened to Paul when he asked for relief from distress (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Whether with a yes, no, or wait, God always responds graciously to the prayers of His children.

Prayer - Learn More!

Compliments of Scott Munger, PhD, Biblica, All rights reserved in the original.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus

I still have questions

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