What is Prayer? – Part 1 – Hope 103.2

What is Prayer? – Part 1

Most people think of prayer as a way to contact God. Consequently they practice prayer more or less frequently regardless of the religious label they attach to themselves. In a cartoon I saw some time ago, a little boy asked his atheist parents, Do you think God knows we don’t believe in him?Instinctively people believe […]

By Chris WittsSaturday 15 Dec 2018Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 3 minutes

Most people think of prayer as a way to contact God. Consequently they practice prayer more or less frequently regardless of the religious label they attach to themselves. In a cartoon I saw some time ago, a little boy asked his atheist parents, Do you think God knows we don’t believe in him?

Instinctively people believe in God. Instinctively people pray to God too. Today not many people talk about praying to God. It’s most unusual these days to see a family holding hands around a table saying grace before a meal. But if you walk into a church, you may see some people kneeling down to pray. So, why do they do it, and what is prayer about anyway?

I think we can simply say prayer is lifting your mind and heart to God. Prayer is our direct line with heaven, a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with him, like in a person-to-person phone call. Mobile phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in today’s society. We have Bluetooth devices, BlackBerries, and talking computers! These are means of communication that allow two or more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another.

To many people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God. And God talking back to us. It’s a two-way communication. Billy Graham says, “Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.”  How long since you prayed to God?

A Personal God

God is a personal being. This is critical to prayer because it means that God is a person we can interact with, that he has a will and that we are able to relate to him on a meaningful level. If he were impersonal, then prayer would not be meaningful. If he were personal, but uncaring and distant, prayer wouldn’t serve a purpose.

Not only is God personal, he is also loving (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16; John 3:16). This is also important in relation to prayer. If God were personal, but uncaring or unkind, then prayer might do us more harm than good! But God is not only loving, he is all-loving (omnibenevolent). In relation to prayer, this means that God always desires the best for us because he loves us.

God is also all-powerful (omnipotent), meaning that no prayer is beyond his ability to answer: “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

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If God were less than all-powerful, then we would have no assurance that he could answer or even hear our prayers. God is supremely in charge of everything that happens in his universe. Nothing takes him by surprise and nothing happens in our lives without the knowledge of God, even though we may not always understand his actions. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) says:

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the LORD.
‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts’

Anyone can pray and the best way to learn how is to just start! Yes, just start talking to God sincerely from your heart like you would talk to someone who loves you and that you know you can trust.

One doesn’t need fancy words to recite or phrases to chant—in fact, God actually dislikes that type of thing. The Scripture says: “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” (Matthew 6:7-8 NASB)

(Read What is Prayer? – Part 2)