Thursday, June 10, 2010

Conversations with God (by Carolyn)

How do we talk to God? I opened the secular dictionary to find out the definitions of prayer. Here are the first three.
1) a reverent petition made to a deity or other object of worship.
2) The act of making such a petition
3) any act of communion with God, such as a confession, praise or thanksgiving.

Then I went to my Bible Dictionary published by Zondervan. "In the Bible prayer is the spiritual response (spoken and unspoken) to God, who is known not merely to exist but to have revealed Himself and to have invited His creatures into communion with Himself. Thus prayer covers a wide spectrum of addressing and hearing God, interceding with and waiting for the Lord, and contemplating and petitioning our Father in heaven. What prayer is may best be seen in the examples and teachings of Jesus. This information can then be supplemented by the apostolic practice of, and teaching on prayer as well as examples of prayer from the OT."

I will leave you to do your own research into Jesus and the apostles both praying and teaching about prayer. The Bible is replete with rich and wonderful Scripture on prayer!

Prayer is a mystery to me. How does it work? Why and when does it work? It's not hard to do. It's simple really and Paul says we are to pray about everything knowing God will hear us, cares about us, and is able to act on our behalf.

I volunteer at a nursing home and one of the ladies always looks a little sheepish whenever I mention prayer. She says, "I don't pray. I talk to God." I tell her, "That's praying!" She doesn't believe me. She thinks it must be much more formal to be a prayer. To me, to pray is to share intimately with Jesus knowing that He is my Lord, my Savior and my Friend. He already knows what is in my heart. I cannot hide anything from Him. But He wants me to come to Him in prayer.

Praying can be extremely humbling. My Lord, Savior and Friend is also Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, who could conceivably cast me away from His presence forever. But He doesn't precisely because He is who He says He is in my life. We come to the Father through Jesus the Son by the guidance of the Spirit. Wow.

Prayer is conversation with God. Paul says in Ephesians 6:18-20, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert, and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

James 4:2 says, "You want something but don't get it....You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives..."

1John 5:14-15 says, "This is the confidence that we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us, and if we know He hears us, whatever we ask we already have what we asked Him for!"

Pray on dear Christians, pray on!

1 comment:

  1. Having just finished a beautiful prayer time with my sisters in Christ, I know that each one of us has a personal definition - and that even changes over time. But what I think all of our prayers should have in common are the things we sisters follow - worship and adoration, sincere confession, heartfelt thanksgiving and petition, especially with a focus how God is glorified. Of course there are the arrow prayers too. Thanks, Carolyn, for focusing me on what the Bible says about prayer.