What is prayer?
Prayer is simply having a talk with God. Prayer is communication with the One who knows everything about you. It is a solemn request for help or a sincere expression of gratitude. A prayer does not have to be long neither does it need to be eloquent. Prayer should be heartfelt, passionate and honest. It is asking the Lord to meet your needs or to meet the needs of someone else. It is an admission of wrongdoing and a request for forgiveness. It is a request for strength. It is about dedication. It is an act of faith.
Prayer is not meant to influence or electrify others. As a matter of fact, Matthew 6:5-6 recommends we pray in private. Jesus usually went off to be alone when He felt the need to talk to the Father, we see that in Mark 1:35. Though He did not reject group prayer, our prayers should not be for the sake of impressing the group.
The Disciples engaged in group prayer, Acts 1:13-14. In 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat called for a group prayer and fast when faced with the realization of the enemy fighting against him and the Children of Israel. There were many instances in the scripture where a prophet or prophetess called for group prayer and fasting. We don’t have to pray for long periods of time, God is not impressed by it. We see that in Matthew 6 as well. I’ve been in a few prayer groups. Some have been short and inspiring while others have been long and tiring.
Yes, God knows what we need. Yes, He knows what we want. Yes, He knows everything. How do we know? Psalms 139: 1-4 tells us God is omniscient, He is all-knowing. He has examined us while we sit, while we work, and while we sleep. He understands each one of us fully, even those of us who don’t quite know ourselves. He knows what we are capable of. He is fully aware of our surroundings and circumstances. He knows whether or not we are clamorous and rowdy or if we are quiet and unpretentious. He even has a plan for our lives. So then, if He has already examined us and He knows our needs then why should we pray? James 5 verse 16 reads like this,
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
We should pray because God plans the big picture, He expects us to make specific appeals in our own behalf as well as others, and views prayer as a form of worship.
In short, prayer is opening the lines of communication with God. It is a way to show you have faith. God has a plan for the big picture and the salvation of man. Through prayer we show Him that we are on board with His plan. Also through prayer, we keep ourselves connected to His plan. It keeps us on one accord, salvation. He also expects His servants to consult Him and include Him in their daily lives because He also has a better view of the small pictures in our daily lives. He promises us that He will direct our paths, He will be our strength, He will give us the desires our hearts. Therefore we can trust that He will. There are two things God will not do, lie or fail. He must keep them because He is righteous and He only has truth in Him. God expects our worship through our prayer. When we stay connected through our prayer and worship, we invite Him into our daily lives. This is how we worship. This is why we should pray without ceasing.