Prayer-A conversation between friends
For true Christians, prayer [Gk: "proseuche"] is "communion with God". Through prayer we actually experience relationship with God. The quality of our prayer life then determines the quality of our relationship with God. Prayer is talking with God. Prayer is listening to God. Prayer is enjoying the presence of God. It can take many forms - for example: worship, confession, thanksgiving, praise, petition (asking for things), waiting (silent, listening and sensing of God) and warfare (command). If we are baptised in the Spirit we can pray with the spirit, in languages unknown to us but not to God. (1 Corinthians 14:2,14).
Prayer is not simply saying words. It is not repeating formulas. God is looking for heartfelt relationship. We are told by Jesus not to make meaningless repetitions of words when we pray. (Mathew 6:7). Tongues may be meaningless to our understanding, but it is not to God. In a future lesson we will give more attention to this subject.
There is a lot of prayer that never reaches God. "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself" (Luke 18:11). "One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer shall be an abomination." (Proverbs 28:9). It is outside the scope of this lesson to talk about prayers offered to false gods or to the devil. Also, we will not look at religious prayers or traditional prayers that can be uttered without heart. We will be considering prayers that come from one who has repented of his sins to the best of his knowledge, and who walks by faith.
HERE is another article related to prayer, and getting prayer answers.
1. We pray because we love God. We spend time with God in prayer and communion because we love him. Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we - if we love God - will desire to be with Him and to fellowship with Him in proportion to our love for Him.
2. We pray because we depend on God. God is our source. He is our life (Colossians 3:4). Through prayer we receive the comfort, the strength and all the other resources that we need in life - both naturally and spiritually. Prayer - relationship to God - is as necessary to the spiritual life as air to the natural life.
3. We need to pray in order to resist temptation. "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation." (Mt. 26:41). Much sin is the result of the sin of prayerlessness. Through lack of prayer, we are weak, others are weaker and Satan gains the advantage in our lives.
4. We need to pray because it is necessary for men to invite God to act in salvation. God gave the earth to Adam and his descendants. We must invite God to work here. If no-one invites God to work here, Satan (the god of this world through man's universal rebellion - 2 Corinthians 4:4) will dominate the affairs of men and eventually the judgment of God will come. By inviting God often and specifically, multitudes can be saved that would otherwise be lost.
5. We need to pray because God commands us to pray. "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4:2). "Then he [Jesus] spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not lose heart." (Luke 18:1). The need to pray is as great as the authority of God which commands us: "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is so vital to all that God wants to do on the earth, and so essential to us, that God commands us to do it all the time. We should even deny ourselves sleep and food at times in order to pray more and with greater power. (Matthew 6:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 21:36; Colossians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 11:27).