The foremost activity a Christian engages in is prayer. Christians and prayer go hand in hand. A Christian without prayer is the same as a fish out of water. There is simply no existence to a Christian without prayer. A professing Christian that doesn’t pray is simply a fraud.
What is prayer
Prayer is communication with God. It is the life line in which all spiritual activity transpires. Prayer is the means by which a sinner confesses their sinfulness and sins and accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is known as the sinner’s prayer. It literally puts one on the path to salvation. However, it doesn’t end there. Prayer is an activity that continues throughout the life of a Christian fueling their growth.
What is the purpose of prayer
Christianity isn’t only about following commands and rules, but a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. If we want to receive all the fruits from a relationship, communication is vital. All relationships thrive on communication and a relationship with God is no exception. Therefore, the main purpose of prayer is to perpetuate a relationship with God. This doesn’t only involve praying for our needs, but communicating perpetually. God communicates with us through the Spirit. Many individuals to comprehend that prayer is a two-way activity not merely a means of requesting wants and needs.
Prayer is the acknowledgment of the presence of God. It is where pride is deserted and humility is adopted, hope is raised, and requests are made. Prayer is the act of admitting our need for God—our dependence on Him, and expressing and illustrating faith upon God. Prayer is a most essential practice for the Christian. Prayer is the privilege of touching the center of the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.
There is yet one more benefit of prayer: peace. Scripture says in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,”
Peace is invaluable. It is a state that that compares to nothing else. It is beyond being happy. One can be unhappy but have peace. When you have peace, you have everything—you’re at rest no matter what is going on around you—to the point that it, as the Scripture reads: “surpasses all understanding.” No one can understand your peace in the midst of a storm. We ought to take “everything”
to God “by prayer and supplication.”
What are the different kinds of prayers
The basic kinds of prayer are praise, petition (supplication), intercession, and thanksgiving.
Prayer is a work of worship that exalts God and emphasizes the need for Him. Living a life of prayer is a response to Christ’s work of salvation and communication with the very source of and purpose for our existence.
Praise—Praise is the form of prayer that highly recognizes that God is God and lets Him know it. It gives Him glory for what He does, but also beyond what He does, but for simply who He is and because He IS. It bestows blessing and adoration upon God the creator. It acclaims the greatness of the Lord who created us and the colossal power of the Savior who sets us free from evil.
It highly expresses the happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. Christianity is a based on Faith. More on faith in the article: What is Faith About.
By praise, the Holy Spirit is united with our spirits to bear witness that Christians are children of God and testifying that we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward Him who is the One God, the Father.
Petition—a prayer of petition is a formal request. The first act of the prayer of petition is asking for forgiveness… it is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. When Christians share in God’s saving love, they understand that every need can become the object of petition. They also understand what Jesus said …” in John 15:16 …”that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Christ is glorified by what we ask of the Father in His name.
Intercession—intercessory prayer is prayer on behalf of another. Intercession is a prayer of petition which guides us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor and mediator with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners. The Holy Spirit Himself intercedes for Christians when they don’t know what they should pray for.[Rom 8:26] Christians can also intercede for others for any reason deemed necessary. Two praying in agreement can be stronger than one. [Matt. 18:19-20]
Thanksgiving—prayers of Thanksgiving encompasses the giving of thanks for blessing—both spiritually as well as materially. Humanity has so much to be thankful for—especially Christians. Non-believers because of the kindness and goodness bestowed upon them in spite of their spiritual condition or the lack thereof. Scripture is clear that God’s goodness is to bring repentance. [Rom. 2:4]
God in His kindness provided a way through His Son, Jesus Christ, for all mankind to be redeemed. All we’ve to try and do is accept this gift. That in itself warrants praise and Thanksgiving. But on a daily basis we all
have much to be thankful for.
Means of Prayer
Just as there are different kinds of prayer, there are different avenues or ways of prayer.
- Vocal—verbal prayer openly expresses the heart. What is within the heart comes out of the mouth. [Mark 7:21] Whether individually or in the presence of others, verbal prayer connects the body with the internal prayer of the heart. By words, mental or vocal, our prayers take root.
- Meditative—meditation totally involves the mind and allows a full concerted effort to focus on Christ and God. Meditation employs thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This form of prayerful reflection is a great value. Scripture reads in Isa 26:3:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Keeping our minds on God and the things of God will keep us in peace. Peace that we desperately need in this divisive and troubled world.
- Contemplative Prayer—involves being prayerfully deep in thought as opposed to praying in the mind. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, God, and the Word of God, a silent love. It is a rewarding spiritual mental exercise.
The best test our prayer life and dependence upon God is by the presence of peace or the lack thereof in our hearts. In all things in life, we are to seek the Lord and in His continued presence.
Peace will surely be our gain. Amen.
Please feel free to leave any question, comment or concern below.