What is prayer?
There are several types of prayers, there’s the plea for help, the prayer that God does something to someone, the negotiation prayer, you know, God if you do this, I’ll do that, and so on. But what exactly is prayer, first and foremost it’s an act of humility, 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
There used to be a country song about how it’s all about me, me, me, our world today is really all about me, We think we have all the answers, we believe we know better than anyone else, we believe our own propaganda about how smart we all are. The reality is, we’re not and we need to begin to humble ourselves and realize that everything we have been given is a gift and we need to treat each other and the planet, and our Lord with some humility. Once we do that then we can turn to God and ask for His help because prayer is also, a chance to cleanse our conscience and admit wrongdoing 1 John 1:9- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. All of us have baggage, we all have something in our past that we’d rather not talk about and many of us have never admitted our mistakes. I know several folks in my past who to this day, won’t admit they were wrong. The thing I have found though is that when I ask God to forgive me for my mistakes, then I feel better, especially when I mean it and I also found that once I do that I’m able to move on and find a new path.
That new path comes because prayer is a time when we can ask for guidance 2 Samuel 5:17-19 – “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines came and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim. Then David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” What should I do next, how should I react, those are all questions we can get answered when we pray and when we do it silently then it becomes a time when it becomes an intimate time to express exactly how we feel about God. In Mark 1:35 – “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”
Is there a right way to pray?
Jesus taught His disciples that prayer is intimate Matthew 6:5-13 – “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
Prayer needs to be consistent and persistent Luke 18:1-8 –“ Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Does God always answer our prayers?
Yes, but sometimes the answer is NO, something better might come along 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 – “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Remember prayer is not a magic wand John 14:14 – “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
Prayer must be earnest James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”
So remember, prayer is an act of humility, a time when we can admit we messed up, and a time when we can ask God for guidance. Prayer is to be intimate, it’s a conversation between us and God, it needs to be consistent, persistent. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is a resounding no or a not at this time, because prayer is not a magic wand and it must be sincere and made with the right intentions. Quit praying to hit the lottery, pray instead for a good paying solid job, don’t pray for a Mercedes, pray for a vehicle to get you from point a to point b on a steady basis. And most of all, pray for your friends and loved ones, pray for those who are suffering, pray for those who are lost, pray for the world.
Check out my website christianlifegospel.org, and follow me on Facebook.com @christianlifegospel and Twitter @txchristianlife. Until next week, remember open you bible, check out what’s there, personally, I’m more of a new testament guy, so start with the gospels and you’ll begin to understand that as I believe God has a way to help you stay in the saddle when life is trying to buck you off. God Bless and Peace y’all