Prayer is a foundation of the Christian faith. According to The Barna Research Group, 98% of born-again Christians pray in a given week and would agree prayer is important. One survey of evangelical leaders worldwide listed “Prayer: The need for more ongoing, passionate prayer in both personal and church life”, as the No. 1 issue facing the church today. The Bible contains 377 references to praise and 375 references to prayer. Prayer is important.
But, what is prayer? What is prayer not? How do we pray? Who do we pray to? Are there different kinds of prayer? Who can pray? Can we expect answers? These and many other questions concerning prayer will be answered in the coming weeks in this feature.
What is prayer? Prayer is communion with God, not just talking to God but with God. Prayer is talking and listening. If you’re talking with someone who is a lot smarter than you, wouldn’t you listen a lot more than you talk? Talk with God like you would a trusted friend; someone who truly cares for you because God does, (1 Peter 5:7). Be quiet and listen to what He has to say. He probably won’t speak in an audible voice but will speak into your spirit. Listen!
Who do we pray to? We should pray to God the Father. God said in Deuteronomy 5:7, “You shall have no other gods before me”. Jesus said, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” (John 16:23). And who can argue with Jesus’ own example of prayer, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9).