Everything you need to know about prayer is instant access to God. That is hard to fathom because we do not have consistent, infallible, instant access to anyone else on the planet.
As helpful as our smartphones are, we still have to cope with glitches when Wi-Fi fails, mobile phone signals drop out, or the telephone stops employed for no apparent reason. But while artificial gadgets can and do fail, prayer never fails.
Irrespective of where we’re or what we’re doing, we always have immediate and unfailing communication with God.
What Is Prayer?
Prayer is communication with God, either in thought or in spoken or written words. In the same way, our relationships with friends and family grow and deepen even as we spend some time together; time interacting with God deepens our relationship with Him.
Prayer gives us direct access to God’s listening ear, as well as His love, strength, wisdom, and comfort. It’s a way to express our love, confess our sins, and bring our requests to Him.
Prayer also is a time for hearing from God. Even as we pray, the Holy Spirit guides us in decisions, comforts our sorrows, and lavishes His love on us.
God already loves and accepts us unconditionally, so we do not have to fear reaching out to Him in prayer.
If God Already Knows Everything, Why Do I Need To Pray?
Prayer is key to the depth and health of our relationship with God.
In Luke 11:1, Jesus ‘followers said, “Lord, teach us to pray….” Jesus responded with a model for them (and us) to follow. That model shows not just the basics of praying but additionally the necessity of praying.
Jesus wants us to pray because He wants us to know God intimately. He commanded and modeled prayer repeatedly as He traveled and taught His followers how to understand and speak with God. Just as the people who followed Jesus while living on the planet, we can study from His reliance on prayer. Jesus ‘followers saw how He needed time alone to consult with God, rest, for direction from God, get peace after conflict, and be beloved as only God can love us.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus shared a simple way to consider the basics of prayer: ask, seek, and knock. “Ask, and it is going to be given for you; seek, and you will discover; knock, and the doorway is going to be opened to you.”
Yes, God already knows everything about us, including our needs. But prayer lets us be involved in God’s blessings and provision for us. Even as we request God’s help, seek His guidance, and knock on the doors He provides, God’s responses draw us closer and involve us in His mighty work.
God created us and loved us with infinite love, and prayer is His gift of an all-access, never-closed gateway to His heart.
What If I Do It Wrong or Don’t Know What to Say?
When we are new to praying, we’re like toddlers learning how to walk. Learning to walk takes many tries, and kids walk stronger and easier over time. Precisely the same is true for us even as we know to embrace the gift of prayer.
Jesus said no request is too small or too large to create to God so that we can ask anything (Luke 17:6). Jesus also said we could trust God’s loving character as our generous provider and protector (Luke 11:13); this means we can be relaxed and bring joyful anticipation with our requests to Him.
God wants to listen to from and bless us so much to ensure that He even helps us even as we pray: “We don’t know very well what we must pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26).
Prayer is a magnificent gift from our loving Father and a quick way into His presence, love, and help. So don’t fear it. Instead, joyfully embrace it.