What is prayer?
According to Dictionary.com, prayer is:
A devout petition to God or an object of worship.
A spiritual communion with God or an object of worship.
The act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
When the word prayer comes to our minds, we probably have a picture of what that looks like. Maybe it’s a pastor of a church dressed in a white robe, standing up high behind a pulpit with his arms stretched out over his congregation. It could be a grandmother kneeling next to her bed, hands crossed, silenting talking to God. Perhaps it’s a group of women holding hands in a circle in the fellowship hall of a church. Regardless of your background, you probably have some prior experience with the concept of prayer.
If we are honest, though, most of us almost cringe when we hear someone say anything about prayer. We might even feel like the writers of the Psalms who beg God to hear their cries and prayers, but wonder if He really will. The reasoning behind that negative thought process is probably because we don’t think we are doing it enough. So, when someone asks, “have you prayed about that?” or “how’s your prayer life?” we typically feel bombarded with discouragement.
Billy Graham said, “prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.” Pretty simple, isn’t it? And yet we seem to make it such a complex act. So, let’s consider prayer as communication with God. Plain and simple. God, our Creator, meets us right where we are. We don’t have to fix ourselves or put on a happy face before we come to Him. We can come to Him when we need His peace, His guidance, and His hope when we feel no peace, are completely lost, and have little to no hope. No part of our messy life scares Him. Isn’t that a relief?
Prayer is simply:
Our prayer lives should be less about a short segment in the morning to “start our day off right” and more about an ongoing, vibrant, open-ended conversation that we have throughout our day with our God—our Heavenly Father.
Over the next six days, we’ll dive deeper into what prayer looks like and how we can incorporate practices that will help us begin an ongoing conversation with God that will last our entire lives.