Summary: Is there power in prayer or in the one that is prayed to?
Many people think that prayer ‘works’ because there is ‘power’ in it, when in actuality the ‘power’ is found alone in the Creator God we pray to and who steps into every life circumstance to work it out for our best (Rom 8:28). Prayer is not some tool to move God or a weapon to use against the enemy. There is no multi-step process in the Bible to learn effective prayer techniques.
Prayer is not an ethereal mental exercise of mystical introspection and contemplation ritually performed in dimly lit candle filled rooms while chanting incantations repetitively through “centered” deep rhythmic breathing to obtain spiritual assent, or walking through a labyrinth to “connect” with the God who “lives way out there.” Prayer should be as natural as breathing.
Prayer is simply a conversation with the lover of your life, a dialogue with the one who intimately knows everything about you and still loves you anyway. The Christian doesn’t need some special place to pray or a list of objectives in which to petition the Lord. Prayer of the heart doesn’t need the exercise of human logic, intellect, and reason. The sweetness of His love defies understanding.
The Bible implores every Christian daily to “Rejoice always, “pray without ceasing, and “in everything give thanks” (1 Th. 5:16-18, NASB). There is no greater place to be than in the presence of the Lord. His love is “better than life.” The glory and majesty of God will fill the heart with thanksgiving and the lips with praise (Ps 63:3-4). The aroma of His love will cause a yearning for deep intimate time with Him. Thankfulness is the vehicle that moves a person into His presence as they enter His “gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (Ps 100:4 NIV).
Spending time in prayer is how one touches the heart of God. It is the eternal exercise of love and the communion of two lovers lost in an intimate embrace. It is a dialogue between the created with their Creator Lord that doesn’t need a lot of words because He knows their inmost feelings before they say them. They pray only for what they really desire.
Prayer can be done anywhere at any time and requires both speaking and listening. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27-28 NKJV). “Hearing” God’s voice requires “listening” in quiet solitude. “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Hab 2:20 KJV).
The goal of prayer is the enjoyment of God who desires to give more of Himself than one could ever conceive. It is fixing one’s attention on His face and beholding Him alone as the center of their life while sitting in the safety of His lap. It is how they turn away from and release the cares of, the world so they can focus on Him and gaze at His beauty, beholding Him where He lives. He has made every Believer His abode!
Accepting the reality that the Creator of the universe has chosen the Christian to be His home will cause profound adoration. The fundamental foundation of intimate prayer is that "the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21 NIV).
Touching the heart of the beautiful God is not a reaching OUT to Him - but rather a reaching IN - turning inward towards the Holy of Holies. When a person turns towards God’s inner dwelling place, they are confronted with the many layers of self that stand in the way of divine romance. This causes them to acknowledge those things that must be repented of - and those who must be reconciled with - before they can humbly approach God’s throne.
Spending time with the Lord is how you get to know God and learn to trust Him. Sadly, too much time is often spent learning about Him but not spending time with Him. It is like a husband and wife that spend all their time reading about how to have a good marriage, yet don’t spend any time having a good marriage. If they don’t communicate with each other they will have a shallow and passionless marriage. So it is in one's relationship with God.
A passionate prayer life begins by meditating on His Word. That is how Christians learn to know His voice. They must learn to read the Scriptures as they would devour the letter of a lover. The Bible is God’s love letter to mankind. It is the oxygen of the spirit, the air to breathe. Starting the day without spending time in the Word and prayer is like going outside without clothes on.
Christians must place their focus on the Scriptures and proclaim the truth of His promises as applying to them personally and accept them as their own. They must learn to speak the Word out loud, directing them to the Savior, and begin to contemplate what they are reading. They must learn to meditate on His Beauty so that “streams of living water will flow from within" (John 7:38 NIV). Now is the time to let His Word seep into one’s spirit and fill to overflowing.