Summary: Prayer is a privilege. But what is prayer?
PRAYER: TALKING WITH GOD
A. Another vital activity or habit necessary to strengthen and deepen our relationship with God is prayer, If the Bible is our spiritual food, prayer is our vital breath as a Christian. No activity can we ever replace the important role of prayer in the Christian life. The deepening of our relationship with God and our spiritual growth also depend on the quality of our prayer life. But many professing Christians try to live without the habit of prayer. Consequently, their relationship with God had been declining and waning. Thus, being a Christian, we need both the bible and the habit of prayer in order to grow spiritually. Prayer combined with a bible study make a healthy Christian life.
B. Prayer is a privilege. After becoming God’s children, we are given access to enter into God’s glorious throne through prayer.
IQ. WHAT IS PRAYER?
*We simply understand prayer as our means of talking and conversing with. Through prayer we talk to God about our problems, tell Him about desires, needs, circumstances, and ask Him to grace us with His blessings. At times we implored God of His mercy. However, the problem with us is that, we often make prayer our last resort.
*Let’s look some important verses that will give us the proper understanding about prayer.
a. II Chro. 7: l4
*at this period of time, the nation of Israel had been enjoying peace and prosperity. Solomon built the temple of God, and upon completion, they offered animal sacrifices and dedicated the temple to the Lord. In response, God spoke to Solomon through a dream. God gave a wonderful promise and a solemn warning to him. “If my people… pray…, I will heal their land” This has reference to Israel’s future. The whole nation will suffer great drought, pestilence and captivity in consequence of their disobedience and pride. Their military power won’t help. Their economy will fail. And their greatness as a nation will crumble. But God promised to forgive them, heal their land, and restore them if they would just humble themselves and pray. God wants them to realize that they are helpless.
*Prayer is realizing and spreading out our helplessness before God. Prayer is not just informing God our needs, our desires, our problems, and our circumstances. God doesn’t have to be informed. He knows everything. It is calling out to God upon realizing that we are helpless without His divine intervention.
b. Jer. 33:3
*this verse gives us God’s wonderful promise about our prayers. He promised not only to answer us, but also to show us great and mighty things as we call upon Him. He’s the Almighty God, so He’s able to do great things. During this period, the Israelites had been captured by a tyrant nation, and they were in great distress. They suffered oppressions, tyranny, looses, and many untold afflictions. They were hopeless; freedom from captivity was impossible! But in this distressing time, God called them to call upon Him and let themselves witness the marvelous things God is going to do in their midst. God reminded them of His greatness. He said: “Call Me…I will show you great and mighty things.” God would have been saying to them, “My people, trust on Me. I’m Your Jehovah Nissi, your Banner. I’m the Great I Am.”
*Yes, nothing is too hard for God, for He is the Great I Am. Christ said: “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”
*The most quoted saying about prayer is “Prayer changes things.” But that’s theologically unsound. Prayer itself is not powerful. God alone changes things. Therefore our confidence must not be in prayer but in God. Our trust must be centered on His character. I can say with great assurance that every promise of God is trustworthy because He has the character to keep His words. He is faithful, great in power, and He is all knowing! So this gives us the understanding that prayer is “expressing our confidence in the character of God. “
c. 1 Peter 5:7
*these verses tell us to cast our burdens upon the Lord. That means, we are to entrust and commit to God every care we have and leave them in God’s hands. We don’t have to worry about them anymore. God is responsible for them. It is God’s responsibility to provide our present needs and to hold our future as well.
*Thus, prayer is committing everything to God.
d. Jas. 4:7
*“submit yourselves to God.” Prayer is submission. Prayer is not simply giving requests, or just believing God to provide your needs; you must submit yourself to His will. This is the true essence of prayer. True prayer is characterized by submission. Look at the prayer of Jesus Christ in Gethsemane found in all four Gospels, He said: “Father… not my will, but Thine be done.” He was totally submitted to His Father’s will. His life was fully surrendered to the Father.