What is Prayer All About?

It would be good to keep in mind what Jesus said on the cross when addressing the Heavenly Father. He called him Abba which when translated means Daddy.

In contrast, the brother of Jesus named James in his book with the same name while speaking of prayer said, in Jas 4:3  “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

We see by these two observations that we should seek an intimate relationship with God while at the same time when we ask, we must ask in an acceptable manner. That is what we’re going to consider in this blog.

As a retired pastor, I can recall times the people have prayed in the congregation amess. A good example of that was to ask God to change history. One man said, “We pray that all those that were in attendance last week were blessed.” If they were going to be blessed, it happened at that time not in retrospect.

Jesus said he would always be with us and never forsake us. He said that when we pray, we should pray in his name. He also said that if we have faith, we could move mountains. That  does not mean to pray asking God to do something that we can do ourselves.

The Bible specifically speaks against repetitive and vain words. Saying the same thing over and over as a prayer is not actual prayer. When we pray we must have the attitude of sincerity and investment in what we are asking God.

Televangelist have given a poor example of praying. Listen to them closely and you will see that they are encouraging listeners to command God to do something. There is no humility in this when we’re standing in the throne room of the Almighty.

Jesus specifically complained about the Pharisees who stood in public and prayed lengthy prayers just for the sake of getting attention. Notice how Jesus prayed and that he addressed the Father in short sentences getting to the point.

Speaking of God’s throne room, when we pray, let us be conscious of where we are. Let us have respect for the invitation to come and talk to the great Creator.

Just saying words as prayers are virtually useless. It is wise for us to have our heart and our mind focused so much on God that as we speak to him we do so with great expectation that there will be a result.

God hears the prayers of sinners and backsliders to the point that his response comes from his grace and not his relationship with his children. When a sinner or a backslider prays, the answer to the prayer is about God’s kindness.

As we pray, we are placing ourselves before God with an obligation to do what he tells us and fulfill his commands. However, our prayers are not for self-centered purposes as James said in the verse I cited above.

A proud heart puts the person in contrast to God. How is he expected to listen to a prayer that is uttered because a person is saying  those words out of Ego.

Our prayers for others should be based on biblical principles in which we seek the well-being of those in the prayer. God will not hear a prayer that is designed to force a person to be a certain way according to the whims of the one praying.

It is a great privilege and honor to talk directly to the Heavenly Father. Before Jesus came, the Jews did not think that was possible or appropriate. In fact, there other non-Christian religions that considerate it heresy to believe in a close relationship with God.

When you pray, do it in faith with expectation and a vision of the results. When you pray, do it in a humble fashion. Make your prayer positive for yourself and others. In whatever prayer you are uttering, it is a moment of worship.

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