Prayer is powerful. Throughout the Bible, we read countless stories about prayer and its impact. We also hear many stories from others about how God worked through prayer. But so often, prayer is something that we overlook in our lives. We get too busy to remember to pray, and many don’t even know where to begin.
Understanding the Importance of Prayer
At its core, prayer is having a conversation with God. It builds our relationship with Him as we express our concerns, thoughts, and feelings to Him and listen for His response. Every day, we have the opportunity to talk to God, who loves us and desires to have a relationship with us. Prayer is important because it strengthens our relationship with God.
Prayer also changes our perspectives on the world. When we pray, we begin seeing things the way God sees them. We begin to connect our will to His. In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), believers are taught to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Prayer becomes a means of surrender and alignment, seeking God’s guidance and wisdom in every aspect of life.
Through prayer, we also turn to God for comfort and strength. He encourages us when we are hurting and frustrated and reminds us of our hope in Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) encourages believers, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer is a two-way conversation with God. We express our thanksgiving, needs, and requests to Him, and He speaks to our hearts. In our times of prayer, we need to seek to provide space not only to speak but also to listen.
How to Engage with Prayer in Your Life
We often struggle to know where to begin when it comes to prayer. We see formal prayers from others and mistakenly think that there is a specific formula we must use for prayer. But at its core, prayer is a conversation with God.
What are some ideas to try for your next prayer time:
Listening Prayer: Spend time in silence, ask the Lord to speak to you, and listen.
Lord’s Prayer: Pick up your Bible, turn to Matthew 6:9-13, and pray using the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
Psalm Prayer: Read through the book of Psalms and pray some of the psalmist’s words to God.
Prayer Books: Throughout the centuries, the church has used prayer books like The Book of Common Prayer as guidebooks for prayer.
Surrender Prayer: Pray something simple like “God, I give everyone and everything to You.” This works well when we feel overwhelmed.
Just like conversations in any other relationship, communicating with God through prayer takes time and practice. The more we seek to spend time in prayer the easier it will become. We will begin to learn to listen to God’s voice and grow deeper in our relationship with Him.