Facts About Prayer
As Christians, we must learn to pray regularly and consistently. We must not pray only when we are in trouble.
Regular prayer life helps to release a continuous flow of spiritual power, makes our spirit more alert and sensitive to spiritual things and also sharpens our discernment and sensitivity.
The Bible has instructed Christians in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing", which emphasizes on the perseverance in prayer, or praying constantly. The Gospel of Luke 18:1 says; "...and he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not faint"
Meaning Of Prayer
Matt Slick, defined prayer as "a privilege and an obligation of the Christian, where we communicate with God". According to him, it is how "we convey our confessions (John 1:9), requests (1 Tim. 2:1-3), intercessions (James 5:15), thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6), to our holy God".
'Prayer' is the Soul talking to God. It is an act of communing with God. Simply put, it means talking to God and allowing God to talk back to you. It is a privilege of access to God, it is a holy spiritual exercise that every Christian must engage in. It is the most powerful element in the life of every Christian.
Prayer is the fellowship, intimacy and relationship with God.
Types Of Prayer
- Meditation Prayer -
This is internal peace, loneliness and isolation of one's self in communication with God.This form of prayer is mainly done when one is required only to pay attention in allowing God to speak and talk to him. It is the time to pause to listen to hear what God has to say (1 Samuel 3: 10; Hebrew 3:15).
- Prayer of Intercession -
This form of prayer is one done for the sake of others. It involves praying for the specific needs and blessings for other persons (Psalm 28:9; 1 Timothy 2:1).
- Thanksgiving Prayer -
Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done and what He is going to do. In each day of our Christian lives, one should thank God for a specific thing He has done. One should thank Him for material blessings, physical blessings, spiritual blessings amongst other things (Psalm 116: 12; Philippians 4: 6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
- Request or Petition Prayer -
Petition is asking God for something you want. It is one's response to God's Heavenly power and wisdom (Luke 11:13; James 4:2; John 16:24).
- Prayer of Confession -
confession is agreeing with God on the topic of sin. It is our response to God's Holiness (Psalm 66:18; 1 John 1:9).
Every form of prayer embedded in the categories or forms of prayers, must be done in faith through the word of God.
Have you heard God speak while praying?
Reasons For Prayer
Christians are advised to pray for these reasons:
- Spiritual upliftment
- Reconciliation with God
- To encounter God's will
- For God's mercy
- For God's favor
- Glorification of God
- For God's care
- For God's love
- To encounter the presence of God
- To pay attention to God's voice
Hindrances To Prayer
As Christians, we must learn to remove hindrances and obstacles that affects the answers to our prayers. Prayer is more effective is it is not hindered by any obstacle in our personal lives. These hindrances include:
- Sin -
It is written in Ezekiel 18:20 that; "The soul that sins shall die". Sin of any kind can breach one's relationship with God. This sin may be caused by selfish desires, deceit, or rebellion (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 15:29; Isaiah 59:1 - 3; John 9:31).
- Unbelief -
The spirit of unbelief is a faith killer. When allowed to grow roots in our spiritual lives, it eats up all our spiritual nourishment (James 1: 5 - 8).
- Unforgiveness -
The spirit of unforgiveness is like a disease in the body, it destroys the body if not treated immediately. When it comes to prayer, forgive and forget it. If you must receive answers to your prayers, if you do not forgive others, there will be no answered prayers. (James 1:25)
- Praying with wrong - mind -
Christians must have the right mind when praying to God. If one's mind is wrong, the prayers will be wrong. The Bible in James 4:3 says; "ye ask, and ye receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust". (1 Samuel 16:7).
Other obstacles that can hinder Christian prayers are hypocrisy, disharmony, deception, and neglecting God's word. (Philippians 2:5).
How To Pray
One reason why many Christians have a boring prayer life is because they have never taken time to learn how to pray. While praying, a Christian should apply the following:
- Direct prayers to God through His son Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:9).
- Do not force God to do anything contrary to His nature.
- Always allow the Holy Spirit to lead you while your pray.
A Christian who is willing to pay the price can have an effective prayer life which is based on one's relationship with God. If your relationship with God is not strong, then your prayer life will be weak. True prayer is a relationship with God, not an activity by itself. Therefore, a Christian needs to:
- Abide in him without reservations (John 15:17).
- Be obedient to his voice in every way possible (John 9:31).
- Be humble as you walk in His ways. (Luke 18: 13 - 14).
- Live a righteous life (James 5:16).
- Live in the fear of the Lord (Psalm 145:19).