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What is Prayer?

Updated on December 18, 2010
Taken at a local falls in southwestern NY called "Bear Falls"
Taken at a local falls in southwestern NY called "Bear Falls" | Source


There are many forms of prayer by definition, but what people need to remember the most is that when we pray to God we are forming a relationship with him.  Shouldn’t it be essential to have a form of “intimacy” with God, a close relationship in our prayer life with understanding, thoughtfulness, love, and appreciation for Him?  We can all recite the Lord’s prayer from the Bible…”Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…..” In all actuality prayer to God is like speaking to a person because He is real, we don’t need to redundantly repeat the same thing day after day, night after night…spend time with God and form the bond he so desires all of us to have with him.

In a sense it is “contemplative prayer” defined as such a listening prayer, where you have attentiveness, all ears to what God wants to say to us.  God is interested in what we have to learn, to listen to Him, give God an opportunity and listen.  Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  I was reading and found an interesting way of wording this by Lady Huntingdon “My whole heart has not one single grain, this moment, of thirst after approbation.  I feel alone with God; He fills the void; I have not one wish, one will, one desire, but in Him; He hath set my feet in a large room.  I have wondered and stood amazed that God should make a conquest of all within me by love”  That is well said in my opinion.  God shares His love with us, and there is no greater love than the love from God our Father.

The word prayer is a vast word; it is not about memorizing and reciting a well known prayer.  It is not always about speaking, it is about being with God.  I found a good form of finding prayer is to take a scripture and lean on it, meditate on it, be still-and know-that He is God.  God is a person who will chase down the broken and make you whole again; you have to have time to Be Still and Know GOD.  Take the time to sit before him and know his peace.

Psalms 107:1, 6, 10-15, 43 “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.  Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons— Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High, Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains in pieces.  Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD” God sends out to fix the broken places in your heart and he renews our minds.

Life is so chaotic that not many people spend any time during the day to sit in silence, it drives a lot of people crazy, I myself was like this until I realized that the quietest times you have, when you spend them with God become the most blissful periods throughout the day.  Some people may be afraid of the silence because in all actuality when there is silence you start to learn about yourself spiritually and that creates change.  People tend not to like change, I myself was like this before, afraid of change, afraid of the unknown.  I left the area where my parents were for about 6 months, and came right back, I couldn’t accept the change without having the security knowing I had someone close to me right by.  I moved away for a year yet came back again.  I didn’t like change at all.  Taking the time for silence and knowing that you are learning about yourself from God creates a loss of control in your life because God starts to take control ~ Do you believe that is a bad thing?  I don’t, yet I can say that it was not an easy task to hand my life over to God.  Yet through prayer and silence, spending time with God you create a bond a secure relationship knowing he is the all mighty, all powerful, all loving God, if anyone other than me were to take control of my life I feel at peace knowing he is in my life watching me and guarding me every step if the way.

Silence is a great spiritual discipline.  Think about this, what does loss of self mean?  Isn’t self an individual desire? Individual desires are a curse on human life.  The distinctness of self is of God, He wants to enhance it.  Don’t speak to your inner self, speak to God.  Francis Chan wrote that peace surpasses understanding and God’s power can transform our lives, how true.  Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Eternal words from the Bible are as fresh today, tomorrow and 100 years from now as they were when God first spoke them.

As we go into prayer with God remember He is with us, it is His presence, His Holy Spirit that guides you in prayer, and we need to make sure we recognize that presence.  Pick up your Bible and ask ~ What is God wanting me to hear today?  When the word of God touches you it is actually God’s love touching your heart.  Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart through the Bible, the Holy Spirit will show you what God wants you to know.  Remember to listen to Him, give Him a chance to speak to you.  The Bible is living and active in our lives.

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6


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    • profile image

      Beesman 7 years ago

      Very true, makes me really reach inside and see what I need to work on. Thank You.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image

      UlrikeGrace 7 years ago from Canada

      To say I enjoyed reading this hub would be less than what I want to say. A very provocative hub. It reaches into my soul with truth, and truth that I must pay attention to. Thank you for taking the time to write out these thoughts. Blessings to you, Ulrike Grace