At the inception when God created man into the beautiful garden, the type of garden that is unparalleled in the world, man wants nothing because he lacks nothing, everything that man needs was at his disposal, all this happened because man was in good rapport with God his creator. Thus, man needs no prayer to ask for something from Elohim, but when man sinned this grace was removed by God and since then man has be in want of all things because we lack everything and then we begin to pray to talk to God of our needs and that he should supply them according to his riches in glory.
I will like us to know that this article is based on Christians means of prayer and does not delve into other types of religions means of prayers.
In elucidating this article, I have broken the article into the following subsections: definition, knowing when prayer starts, components of prayer, those who should pray, reasons why we pray, venue of prayer, when men ought to pray, time that we can pray, how we should pray, positions of prayer, God's response to prayer, some of the ways prayers are answered, what prayer does, man's responsibility, the work of a man who prays, some rules of prayer
Act of praying
The world will not know that we have a God except we prevailed in our prayers...
These are some of the meanings given to Christians’ kind of prayer by some teachers and authors:
(i) Communion: Communion is defined by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as the state of sharing or exchanging thoughts and feelings; the feelings of being part of something. While communion in Greek word is “κοινωνία”, Romanized form is koinōnia (pronounced as koy-nohn-ee'-ah) which means partnership, participation, social intercourse (interaction), fellowship. (1 Co. 10:16; 2 Co. 6:14; 13:14)
Prayer is thence defined as a communion, (social interaction, fellowship, partnership) of God's children with God who is their father. Christians believed that God is our father as being stated by saint John in his Gospel.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (Joh 1:12)
Jesus Christ after resurrection while talking with the disciples also says, God is their father and those who by extension would believe on his name.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (Joh 20:17)
We all know that parents desire to have relationship with their children, in the same way is our heavenly father he desires to have fellowship and interaction with us.
(ii) Components of Humans Souls Intercellular Fluid: Humans body is said to be surrounded by intercellular fluids by the human physiologists. Majority of this fluid according to studies is said to be made up of water. This fluid bathes the tissues and cells of humans and through it ions, vitamins, hormones, enzymes among other things are being carried to the site whence they are being needed.
However, as humans body is being bathed by this intercellular fluid, those who are spiritually inclined have also relate the spirit and soul of man to have intercellular fluid bathing it, and one of the components of this soul’s intercellular fluid according to them is prayer.
Thus, they defined prayer as what is in the intercellular fluids of man which comes out at the right time, either or not the person learns it.
In the Mood
Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Thessalonians prays that the tripartite nature of humans which are spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Th 5:23)
(iii) Agelong Thought: Prayer is the thought that has long be inside of man, which gingers man to speak with God. It is like a child who has seen some things in the school in a day, the sight that he has seen in the school would be burning inside of him and when he gets home the first thing he would do is to tell his parents those things that he has seen in the school. That is how prayer is, burning inside of man, thoughts that have been developed over the time inside of man which pushes man to talk to his heavenly father.
(iv) Naturally Come: Prayer naturally comes out of man because of the thought of religion inside of man. Take as instance, Cain and Abel who offered sacrifices unto God, it wasn’t clearly documented in the bible that they have been instructed to that effect before making the sacrifices (Gen. 4), although we have reasons to believe that they may have been instructed by their parents and or have been seeing their parents do something akin to that which eventually push them to do that, as a form of praying and thanking their God. It naturally arose out of their hearts to do that unto the Lord.
Therefore, we see people who said they do not believe in God, but who yet in some instances offer some words characteristically of prayers out of their mouths because it is naturally present in the hearts of humans.
2. When Did Prayer Start?
After seeing some words of definition about prayer, we need to answer this question too because men were not praying at the beginning, I mean when they were in the garden of Eden.
From the documentations of the bible we can state clearly that prayer starts after the fall of men, after men were chased out of the garden of Eden.
“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” (Gen 4:26)
3. Components of Prayer
Components is defined as the several parts which something is made up of. It has also been discovered that prayer too has different parts. Some of the parts which prayer is made up of as found in the bible include the following.
(i) Worshiping God:
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says, worship is defined as the practice of showing respect for God or god by saying prayers, singing with others, a strong feeling of love and respect for somebody or something.
In the New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible however, worship is defined as being the respect and honor shown to a person (Luk 14:10) but this sense of the word has become obsolete. Respect which implies that the object thereof possesses divine attributes (Mat 14:33; 15:25; Rev 14:7) man is forbidden to give this worship to any but God alone (Ex 34:14; Mat 4:10; Act 10:25; Rev 19:10). This type of outward act may be civility shown to man, as shown when people bowed down to Esau, to Joseph, or to Kings (Gen 33:3; 42:6; 2 Sam 24:20) or worship rendered to God (Gen 24:52; Psa 95:6). It should be known that the same Hebrew word being used in all these passages. The performance of this outward act was strictly forbidden (Ex 20:5)
Most common Hebrew word for worship is “שׁחה”, Romanized form is shâchâh (pronounced as shaw-khaw') while in the book of Daniel the word used for worship is “סגד”, Romanized form is segid (phonetic spelling is seg-eed') which means bow oneself down, fall-down flat, make to stoop, obeisance, reverence.
In the New Testament the common word used for worship is “προσκυνέω”, Romanized form is proskuneō (pronounced as pros-koo-neh'-o) which means prostrate, licking master’s hand, crouch or fawn.
Believers are expected to bow to worship the Lord God almighty in their hearts and when speaking unto him in prayers, for he alone deserves that from man, not images as people do today.
(ii) Praising God
bibletools.com says, to praise God is to call attention to his glory. When we talk about praising God, it is commonly found in the book of psalms. We could find indirect praises (e.g. Genesis 1) in the bible and direct ones. Direct words of praises are found in the book of Psalms mostly as well as in other books which include, Exodus, revelation.
The Hebrew word for praise is “תּהלּה”, Romanized form is tehillâh (pronounced as teh-hil-law') While the word praise in Greek is “ἔπαινος”, which when Romanized it becomes epainos (phonetic spelling is ep'-ahee-nos) which means commendable, laudation, hymn..
Some words which are synonymously used for praises are “exalt, extol, glorify, magnify, and thank” in the bible.
Praise as a Call: God formed us to be giving him praises (Isa 43:21; Jer 13:11), this is what he has called the church to, and this expectedly is what we should be doing to the Lamb who saves us. (Eph 1:6; Php 1:11; rev 4:11)
When we praise God, we tell and show him that we have aligned ourselves with what he wants of us on earth. it is our duty and should always delight us to praise him. (Psa. 63:3-8)
Having seen some words of definition on prayer, when prayer starts and now talking about the components of prayer, in the next article, I shall be continuing with the components of prayers.
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