What is prayer?
First, prayer is the believer addressing the God of their salvation. As Creator, Ruler, and Sovereign over all that is, He is also our Father through the Lord Jesus His Son. As our God, we are to communicate with Him as a sign of our faith and trust in Him. Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Both as our Creator and our Father, He cares for us and is intimately aware of and concerned for every aspect of our lives. 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
We have been given opportunity and the ability to come before our Creator through His Son, Jesus Christ. We are to go before Him in the Name of His Son. We have no other basis to come before Creator God. Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
We must be mindful of the Savior’s role in enabling us to come before the Father, and even pray to and praise the Son for His gracious aid to us in this. Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Prayer is the sacred expression of the faith which we possess in the Son of God, and it is the articulation of our belief that God can and does answer our requests.
Our resting in God’s goodness to us can be found in the prayers which we offer up to Him. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
We ask for the things which we are in need of, with the understanding that He answers according to the purposes of His will in our lives. In His instruction on this very subject, the Savior begins the model prayer not with His physical needs but praying for God’s will to be done. Matthew 6:9-11 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
We must pray with not only the understanding that God bestows all things according to His glory, but with the expectation that He will glorify Himself. Even when He answers not according to our agenda. With this attitude we are able to praise Him readily. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
The truly prayerful spirit of the Christian will be one which is reconciled with an understanding, even a way of life, which is lived humbly acknowledging that our Great God resigns supreme in all things. We are but the work of His hands, therefore we say, “do thy will in me, through me, and for me oh Lord.”
Prayer is that supreme act of faith through which the Christian experiences the working out of the apostle’s doctrine in their lives, and we experience the great hope that we possess in this life through the Lord Jesus Christ. A prayer-less “Christian” must be understood as a contradiction in terms.