What Does It Really Mean To Pray?
Prayer is such an overemphasized matter. We talk about it all the time, in the church, around the church, outside the church. You don’t even have to be a Christian per say to have any idea of what it means to pray. But what does it mean to pray? Really, take a second to think about it. You’re most likely going to say it’s communication with God. It’s how we tell God what we need and he provides. It’s how we develop a relationship, because we are people and people like to talk. Those are true and popular claims of prayer. They are not wrong but sometimes they overshadow and even out-rightly blind other very important points of prayer, which if we forget, leads us to become victims of religion and we are no different from every other person that doesn’t believe in the God of the bible but does believe the existence of God. Prayer is beautiful and transforming when we understand it, and if you take a minute to think that through, you will see that so is everything else.
Prayer is a lifestyle. It’s okay to assume that everyone reading this has heard this phrase before; Pray without ceasing. It’s something we say a lot, but don’t exactly do as much. The bible wasn’t speaking metaphorically in 1 Thess 5:17 when it said pray without ceasing. It was a straight-forward command, not a suggestion. But how can you do that? How can you not cease praying? One word; Lifestyle. Yes indeed, there is a place and perhaps time for vigorous and authoritative prayer. By place, it doesn’t necessarily mean a church gathering, it could be a corner in your room but even beyond such allotted times for prayer, prayer should flow, like a river. You should not have to think before you do it. Do you know why? Because prayer is a consistent reminder of your powerlessness. At this point we can almost say it is worship. It’s acknowledging the exceeding power of God and your inability to handle things on your own. Constant and non-ceasing prayer shows the state of your heart. Every minute of your life should be marked by a dependence on God. Quite obviously, because he is dependable and trust worthy and you are not. If you don’t like that sentence it means that you and your bible need to have sometime alone. Your hopelessness without God has to be real to you.
It’s also important because of Deuteronomy 8:14 (no, we’re not pulling it up. Grab your bible and look it up.
We will wait.)
Sometimes when God blesses us without asking, we assume it’s because of our selves that we prosper. We become proud and forget God. So, constantly talking to Him reminds us of our finiteness and mortality.
Be humbled by God’s grace towards you and make it an habit to acknowledge him. Before we close this, let’s a consider this situation. Have you ever made something, or created something? Let’s say you are a writer, and you were asked to write for a magazine, you were supposed to be paid, but alas, you weren’t and even worse, your work was accredited to another. How would that feel? It would suck. It would suck to the gut. But that’s what we do with God almost all the time. We don’t give him credit. We steal the glory, and say it’s ours. That makes us criminals, punishable by law. Thank God for grace, yeah? We get away with a lot, but not so we continue to be jerks though.
God gives air, praise Him. God gives life, praise Him. God gives good company, praise Him. God gives peace, praise Him. And if you aren’t really the one keeping yourself alive (clearly), realize that whatever stumbling block challenges you on your way, you are not the answer. God is. Let that sink in.
Don’t forget to speak out and enforce the word of God in your life. Nothing is going to change until you pull up what you believe to your lips and exercise it.