What Prayer Is . . . and What It Is Not
One of the most important practices of the Christian life is prayer. It’s as essential to knowing God and growing spiritually as breathing is to living.
Prayer isn’t something that we offer to some force out there. Nor is it some type of energy that can heal us in and of itself. Rather, prayer is the means of communication whereby we hear from and speak to God Almighty.
That’s why it’s important to understand what prayer is and what it is not.
Some would assert, even within the church, that we can speak things into existence through prayer. For instance, teachers of the Faith Movement advocate that you can pray and speak things into existence because they claim you are a little god. They say you can speak and it will happen, but you must speak by faith. And if you don’t, it won’t happen.
It is wrong to believe that we can order God around as though He were a celestial butler. It is also wrong to think that we cannot bring a specific request before God because He is merely a force.
Prayer is communicating with and hearing from God. True prayer is aligning our wills with the will of God and praying accordingly. We want to keep the lines open to Heaven to both speak to God and hear from Him.
Yet many of us are reluctant to pray. We don’t really know how to pray, and we’re embarrassed about praying.
However, prayer is something that we all need to be doing. In fact, it’s something the Bible commands us to do. First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us, “Never stop praying” (NLT).
Prayer is not an option in the Christian’s life. It’s both a privilege and an adventure. And it’s something that we need to keep learning about for the rest of our lives.
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