What is Prayer?
Prayer is conversation with God. Even though He is the Creator of the universe, God wants to have a personal relationship with you. He knows everything about you (“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Luke 12:7), and he loves you unconditionally. He wants you to spend time with Him. Prayer is a way that you can talk directly to God and hear what He has to say to you.
First, we should pray because God tells us to do so. The Bible is full of references to this command:
• “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
• “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving”. (Col. 4:2)
• “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41)
• “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Second, we need to pray because we love God and we want to spend time with Him. In prayer, we can learn more about God, what His Will for us is, and how we should be living our lives.
Third, we need to pray because we depend on Him for everything that we have and everything we need. Through prayer, we can praise Him for who He is, thank Him for all He does for us, and ask for help for the daily physical and spiritual needs of ours and our loved ones.
1. The Bible is God’s Word. It is God’s Will. When you pray God’s Word, you are praying His Will. If you want your prayers to be effective, to “avail much,” then you need to make sure that you are praying God’s Will.
God wants to answer your prayers. However, that doesn’t mean that He wants to give you everything you ask for. Jesus said:
This is not a license to ask for anything you want. Jesus did not say “Ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” He said, “… if my words abide in You, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” This means that if God’s words abide in us, then we will be asking for the very things He wants for us. If we ask for those things, they will be done for us.
2. God’s Word contains His promises to you, as well as His commands and instructions. He tells us in His Word promises like “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6). By praying His Word, you claim God’s promises and make them your own. You can remind yourself that He has promised you these things, and in faith declare them back to God. Thus, the verse “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6) can become a prayer to God:
In his Word, God gives us commands and instructions for your life, such as: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). By praying His Word, you can remind yourself of God’s commands and instructions and ask for God’s help in living according to His Will. The verse “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) can become a prayer to God:
3. Praying His Word helps you to memorize Scripture, which is the most powerful way to resist temptation and avoid sin. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11). When your prayers use God’s Word, over time you will memorize key scriptures in the areas you are praying for. When God’s Word is in your heart, you will be able to remember and use it to avoid sin when the circumstance arises.