After watching the film War Room I have felt convicted to live a deeper and richer Biblical prayer life. Why did I just say Biblical? Isn’t all prayer Biblical? Hmmm…that is a perplexing question. The answer is both yes and no.
Let us begin with asking the question, “What is Prayer?” What Does the Bible say about prayer?
The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis, chapter 4.
And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.
Prayer is an open communication with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the expression of our inner spiritual needs. Through prayer, we can find strength of spirit, guidance, wisdom, joy and inner peace (Psalms 118:5-6, Psalms 138:3, Isaiah 58:9-11, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7). Prayer may be long or short, alone or in a group, silent or aloud, but it should be a true communication with God and not done for public recognition (Matthew 6:5-8). Important aspects of prayer include1:
- Expressions of faith and trust in God
- Confession of our sins
- Praise of God’s mighty deeds
- Thanksgiving for all the good things we have received
- Dedication to serve God and other people
- Requests for our needs and the needs of others
We depend on God for everything, even life itself. Prayer expresses this dependence as we ask God for what we need. Jesus says that people who trust Him know God as their loving Father. God is not like our human fathers, who are flawed and sometimes mistreat their children. God as our perfect Father loves and cares for his children perfectly. Prayer is a two-way conversation. In a conversation, the primary skill is taking turns. So God sees prayer as both a dialogue and intimacy between those involved in the conversation.
Prayer Develops Our Relationship with God.
If we never speak to our spouse or never listen to anything our spouse might have to say to us, our marriage relationship will quickly deteriorate. It is the same way with God. Prayer—communicating with God—helps us grow closer and more intimately connected with God.
I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ “
But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!
Great conversations take practice but follow a simple format:
- Listen: Listening is something of a lost art. We often don’t listen carefully during our conversations, and this is especially true of our prayer communication with God. Good, solid, focused prayer should involve 50% listening.
- Process: We need to process what we have heard. Take a moment to pause and allow what God has said to penetrate your soul. We need to feel what we’ve heard in our listening.
- Speak: Now is your time to be heard. As you have listened to God speak to you, now is your time to speak directly to God. Allow your prayer to be honest and open, like talking with a good friend.
Come back and join us through this series! Next topic will be on HOW to pray. If you have any questions or comments just post them below. Also, I will be doing some Freebies for subscribers. 🙂
1 Herbert Lockyer, Sr., ed., Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986.