We can approach this answer from a variety of directions.
Let’s first look back to the definition. Prayer is a relationship dialogue with God. How many of you have a relationship with someone where only one party talks?
I think that’s the first thing to remember. Prayer is a communication where both sides are to be heard and influence the outcome.
Too many times in our lives we use prayer as a means of just asking for what we need (or want), but prayer is more than that!
One way to remember prayer is to “PRAY.”
- P – Praise God: worship, adore and thank Him
- R – Repent of your sins: confess your failures
- A – Ask for your needs: make your requests for healing, help, etc.
- Y – Yield to God: “Not my will, but Thy will be done”
If we look at Biblical examples,
- Jesus frequently turned to God in prayer (as discussed in previous blogs)
- The disciples, whom Jesus spent more time developing spiritually than anyone else, after Jesus ascended
They returned to Jerusalem…to an upper room” and “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…” (Acts 1:12-14).
- David, “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), wrote almost half of the Psalms in which many he was speaking to God, asking for his desires and struggling when answers didn’t come his way.
Secondly, prayer is something we are instructed to do!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” – Philippians 4:6
And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; – Luke 18:1
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? – Matthew 7:11
It is wrong to think that prayer is simply asking God for something. Our prayers should include praise, and repentance. They should involve us asking God, but also yielding to Him.
Just because God knows what you need doesn’t mean He doesn’t want to have a prayer (relationship) with him.