The Intricacies of Prayer: What Is It + Why It Is An Important Aspect of Our Faith
“Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him.”
Prayer is connection yet there are seasons and times in our lives when that connection gets pushed to the backburner and left untouched in applying it to our lives. Prayer is obedience, are we abiding in Him and going directly to the source of the abundance that has already been given and promised?Perhaps prayer feels overwhelming, or you feel lost in your prayer life. We are going to look at prayer in a different light here, connection, a closer connection. It is our time to spend with our Savior on earth in the flesh any time we want. Will you pause with me for a second, will you try to picture Jesus sitting right next to you-- you and Him are face to face-- He is staring into your eyes and He wants to talk to you for hours on end and doesn't want the conversation to end. He desires us so badly, a kind of desire that we should seek out in Him any chance we have.
What is prayer?
Prayer is simple, prayer is surrender - I say this to mean one thing that prayer is trust. It is a gift that has been given to us thru the ultimate sacrifice of our Father. I know that that can be all things depth and complex, but when we truly get laser-focused on what prayer is, it is simply abiding, simply surrendering. It is radical, friend because the power of Christ is miraculous and because of that we simply have faith. I am not going to promise you that because prayer is simple, you are going to get what you want. What I want to uncover is the simplicity of prayer and the power that it holds when we are committed to our relationship, our ongoing conversation with Christ.
We can easily complicate something as simple as prayer and that can cause it to make its way to the backburner of our lives. When really it should be how we start our days, how our daily life is rooted. Do you worry you don't have all the words to say? Maybe you don’t feel qualified? Overall there might be a sense of overwhelming when it comes to prayer? Place yourself back in that image of you and Him talking face to face. Sit there. As you look at Him can you see you listening, Him speaking, and then you speaking and Him listening? This is the simplicity. Take away all the barriers that you feel hold you back in prayer and simply speak and listen. Ask, and wait for a response. Seek, and obey.
The Word is God's prayer, it is Him giving all of us to Him to continue a conversation to be ever present in our lives. Prayer is a connected conversation with our Savior, it is a space that is free access. Jesus tells us that what is written about Him is fulfillment-- He is enough, therefore our conversations with Him are our fulfillment. Prayer gives us His concrete being in our lives. It speaks to us, we know who we are in Him thru prayer, who we can run to, who we can rest in, who we can hide in.
“Our prayer must be in full, grateful awareness that our access to God as Father is a free gift won by the costly sacrifice of Jesus the True Son, and then enacted in us by the Holy Spirit, who helps us know inward;y that we are his children.” Timothy Keller
Why is prayer an important aspect of our faith + How can you equip your days with prayer?
Prayer anchors our lives. It turns our eyes upon the one who is in full control. It is critical for us to not look to the world for our hope, guidance, approval, and timing. We will leave empty-handed if we look to our flesh for all of these things. He gave us prayer because He is not finished, He is at work in our lives. He was obedient to the Father so that you and I could be covered in His grace, truth, and glory.
Although prayer is simple, the conversation between you and Him, I preface here that that does not mean all that we pray for will come to be. We live in a fallen world, one where there is illness, hatred, crime, death, where the enemy is on the move in many circumstances--- Let these things never be what stop you from prayer. Jesus knew what was to come of His life, He knew He was sent to earth to die for us-- yet we see His obedience to God, never ceasing to pray. Perhaps you are praying for something and you're not hearing from Him, He is not answering you-- what if the exact place or season that you are standing in is where He wants you. Prayer is so important in our faith because, in places like these in our lives, our faith grows deeper, the connection grows stronger. We might not know or see what He is doing, and maybe we never will, and I know that is hard to swallow-- I have had to wrestle with this a lot through these past few years, but to trust that it is and never has been up to us is suffering it all to Him.
We do not have to stop praying for something because we have been praying about it for a long time. Jesus tells us to pray, to always pray and to never lose heart. Prayer opens our hearts to fearing and respecting God at the same time. We see persistent prayer all throughout scripture, from Jesus, and from so many people in the bible- he encourages us to keep praying. Remember that in having faith in Him is trusting that in all in His time and in His plan. The beauty of our prayer life is to have a faith so strong that you have undoubting faith. To wholeheartedly have no doubt when it comes to the grace of God.
Prayer does not at all have to be perfect. We can pray in a multitude of ways and no one way is the correct and only way. If for you that is speaking them out loud, or hidden in your war room, writing them out day after day, crying out to Him, a simple check in at any point in your day-- whatever it looks like, however, you can have the conversation with Him, have it. We engrain it in our hearts when we speak and/or write out our prayers. If you have never written them, my challenge to you today is to grab pen and paper and write out a prayer-- a conversation with Him. If you have never prayed out loud, my challenge for you today is to speak your conversation out loud. You will feel His presence, in some way you will. We have to be obedient when He tells us to keep coming to Him, run to the living Word. We must not get restless but rest only in Him.
- Equip yourself, your day, your life. Prayer never should be an extra or a burden, it is a get to and we need to abide by that.
- Before you turn to anything else when you wake in the morning, turn to Him, take a few moments and speak to Him, thank Him, ask what you need of Him, praise Him. He will meet you there.
- Then throughout your day check in with Him, when your writing an email, making dinner, folding laundry, running those errands---- talk to Him in the glorious mundane because He is right there with you.
- We must use the tool of prayer that He has given us, that was sacrificed for us--
We shall surrender ourselves, our days, our lives- all of it, to our powerful Father, because the abundance, we are standing in it, you and me. He is our abundant life. His will has, shall, and will be done. In His name, Jesus.