What is Prayer and Why Should I Pray?
What is Prayer and Why Should I pray? Prayer is a conversation with God and it is the thing God has always wanted – to walk and talk with us in the cool of the day. He longs to have that intimate fellowship with us and it can happen anywhere at any time. Pray out loud or silently. There is no circumstance which prevents you from praying and sharing your heart and soul with the One who loves you unconditionally.
There are no special words. God wants to hear you talk in the way you talk. He will talk back to you in a way you can understand. He can speak any language, and in any form that will allow us to understand. Prayer is a conversation. In our daily lives, sometimes the conversation is filled with laughter, other times with tears. There might be anger, confusion, disappointment, or anything else.
King David complained often to God about his circumstances. The key is that he usually ended his talk with God by praising and worshipping. He knew that, no matter what, God was greater than any circumstance.
What is Prayer and Why Should You Pray? Because it is fellowship that will fill your soul with delight!
What is Prayer? It is Talking To God About Your Problems
Most conversations are two way – you talk, the other person listens – the other person talks and you listen. It goes back and forth. If most of us are honest, there are lots of times when prayer is one way – I talk and I want God to listen and do something. However, true communication is not that way. How long would an earthly friendship last if all you did was talk and your friend never got to say a word? Not long at all. You listen to other people’s problems and try to help. God does the same for us.
If you are lost for words, turn to His Word. It is filled with the words of others who were simply pouring out their hearts and lives before their God and coming to Him for the help, healing, shelter, peace, restoration, filling, and magnificence we all need. He wants to make us more than we are.
What is Prayer? It is Talking to God All the Time
The basis of prayer is a relationship that requires two-way communication. Yes, there will be times when you simply say – Thank you God for helping me, or I love You Father. That’s great. But you must also develop the habit of listening, being still, opening your heart and spirit up to His and allowing Him to speak or show you something. Sometimes I get a picture in my mind and I know it is God showing me something.
I have never had God speak to me in an audible voice. It is in my mind, and my heart. He may speak or He may show me something like a picture in my mind. Sometimes, when I think He didn’t speak, I later realize that He did something instead, intervening on my behalf before I knew I even needed it. As you practice, you will learn to distinguish His voice from all others including your own.
Why Should I Pray? Because I Need to Talk to God About Everything
A few days ago, I had prayed what might seem like a silly prayer. We have had wild turkeys on our property and they had suddenly disappeared. Then, we saw 2 of the 7 on our property. Another week went by and nothing. I was worried about what had happened to the Rafter (flock). Today, we had to turn back and come home on our way to church because I was not feeling well. As we were coming up the hill, I was silently lamenting the fact that the turkeys were gone. We came around into our driveway and there was one of the turkeys feasting on bird seed near the house. I almost laughed out loud. God had not spoken to me – He had just answered my prayer! The turkey is now safely living on our farm.
You might say – really, you prayed about a turkey? Yes, I did. Why? Because, after a lifetime of serving God, I know that He cares about the little things because we care about them. I love animals. God knows that and He doesn’t make fun of me for it. We talk all the time. Sometimes I say something quick to Him. Later, He answers me or later I take time to listen. At other times, it is extended conversation as I tell Him all that is on my heart and listen for what is on His. He hears, cares, acts, and talks. He is honest with us and will gently guide us when we are wrong. God will never belittle or scream or lecture. He doesn’t have to – He is God!
What is Prayer and Why Should I Pray?
Prayer is reliance on God. If you’re not sure you need to pray, check this out?
18 Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed.” Ephesians 6:18 The Voice
There are prayers which are requests, or worship and thanksgiving, or prayers of desperation and pain. Hopefully, there are prayers of rejoicing. There are prayers of spiritual warfare. Don’t worry about what kind of prayer you are praying or the words to use. Just start by saying what is on your mind. Remember – pray in every way you know how! God is interested in what you have to say.
There are those who do not believe that prayer is a conversation because there must be more reverence involved when addressing God. I completely understand that, and In my conversations with God, I find my awe and reverence of Him always increasing. We should always remember who He is and give Him our reverence. At the same time, He desires a relationship and we can be completely respectful while being ourselves.
God wants honesty in our prayer. He already knows what’s in our heart so we might as well let it out. It might be ugly and you might think you will be struck by lightning for saying it. You won’t. God is not that small. There is nothing too great for Him, nothing He has not already heard or seen, and nothing that can keep Him from extending His love to you. So prayer is all of that – the good and bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the sin and the forgiveness.
Prayers Using Bible Verses
Have you ever had a time when you wanted to praise God or engage with Him but you just didn’t have the Words? Sometimes, I find myself trying to pray but using the same phrases over and over. Or, you just can figure out what to say. I have had times when I wanted to pray and know that I was praying in His will. For me, the solution has been to engage in Prayer Using Bible Verses.
For instance, when I have wanted to praise and worship, I have gone to the Book of Psalms. I like to underline Scriptures so I underlined some with either pink or purple. Then, as I sit with my Bible, I can go from Psalm to Psalm personalizing the verse or verses. It works no matter what version you use. Here is an example from The Voice Translation:
Prayers From the Psalms
Ps. 2:13, “Blessings await all who trust in Him. I will find God a gentle refuge.
Ps. 4:1, “Answer my prayers, O True God, the righteous, who makes me right. I was hopelessly surrounded, and You rescued me. Once again hear me; hide me in your favor; bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness.
Ps. 5:7-8, “I, by Your loving grace, am welcomed into your house; I will turn my face toward Your holy place and fall on my knees in reverence before You. O Eternal One, lead me in the path of Your righteousness amidst those who wish me harm; make Your way clear to me.”
Prayers of Rejoicing
Ps. 8:1, “O Eternal, my Lord, Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth; Your magnificent glory shines far above the skies.”
Ps. 16:7-8, “I will bless the Eternal, whose wise teaching orchestrates my days and centers my mind at night. You are ever present with me; at all times You go before me. I will not live in fear or abandon my calling because He stands at my right hand.”
Worshipping His Greatness
Ps. 27:4-5, “I am pleading with You Eternal One for this one thing, my soul’s desire: To live with You all of my days – in the shadow of Your temple, to behold Your beauty and ponder Your ways in the company of Your people. Your house is my shelter and secret retreat. It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil. Safety sits with me in Your hiding place O God. You will set me on a rock, high above the fray.”
Ps. 29:7, “You are the source of my strength and the shield that guards me. When I learn to rest and truly trust You, You send Your help. This is why my heart is singing! I open my mouth to praise You and thankfulness rises as a song.”
What is Prayer and Why Should I Pray? It is the example given us in the Bible. Read David’s prayer in Psalm 31:1-5. There is a beautiful prayer in Psalm 36:5-12. From beginning to end, there is a theme of prayer and fellowship in the Bible. It is to be part of our normal, daily life as believers. Just as we talk regularly with those we love, we talk with our God because we love Him and He loves us.
Prayer Using Bible Verses
We should pray and never stop according to I Thessalonians 5:17. And, of course, there is the most famous prayer of all – the prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13 NASB:
“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day [a]our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [b]evil. [c][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’”
So, if you don’t have your own words, it’s fine if you borrow some of His! He is a delightful God.
I hope I have answered the question – What is Prayer and Why Should I Pray? I also hope that you will find greater freedom in your prayer life and an ever-increasing relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.