Jesus told His disciples to pray. But what does it really mean?
Many people believe it is to recite words written by saints ages ago, to kneel and speak with old-fashioned words. But that is just being religious – following rules in order to be accepted by a distant God. Prayer is not magic words that give us everything we want.
Anyone can talk to God. He has created all people, He knows what each one is like, and He loves them. God wants to communicate with you!
We’ve already talked about the relationship that followers of Jesus have with God – He is our Father, and we are His children. Prayer is simply to talk to Your heavenly Father, and to be in His presence. It is communication between a Father who loves His child, and children who love their Father.
There are no rules as to how you should pray. You can be anywhere and you can sit comfortably, bow down and kneel, or you can stand or walk. You can pray out loud or whisper. What’s important is the attitude of your heart. You can tell God exactly how you feel.
The Bible tells us this about prayer: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4).
Prayer is the communication in the relationship between you and God your Father.
When we pray, we pray in the name of Jesus, like the Bible says: “whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24).
Think about writing a check – when the bank account is in the name of Jesus, it won’t help that you sign your name on the check, you need the signature of Jesus. That means that we have to agree with Jesus and His will.
Prayer releases God’s power,
but remember that God has more answers than just “yes”. He might answer “no”, or He might answer “wait”. God doesn’t always talk in a voice as strong as thunder. Actually, He rarely does. His voice can also be as soft as a small breath of air. Most often when God speaks it is physically inaudible, in the form of thoughts, ideas, pictures, songs, or the most common way: by reminding us about what is written in His Word.
The Bible says: “But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray.
He can remind us of words in the Bible that we read even a long time ago. Regardless of the situation, He can show us something about it. However, it’s important to know that God will never say anything to you now, that goes against what He has written in the Bible. Therefore it is important to know what the Bible says, so that we can distinguish between the thoughts God gives us, the ones we come up with ourselves, and the lies that the devil tries to make us believe.
Let us end with a Scripture: “I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 17:6) Like any good communication, prayer goes two ways. It is not just us speaking to God, but also God speaking to us. So when you are praying, take some time to be quiet and listen for God’s voice. He wants to speak to you and be close to you.