What is Prayer All About?
Do you ever wonder what prayer is all about? Perhaps you’ve prayed a formal prayer in church that is nothing more than words to you. Perhaps you’ve recited the Lord’s Prayer from memory, while your mind was entirely on something else.
Prayer is so much more than we can imagine. Did you know that one aspect of prayer is simply emptying our hearts and emotions before God? Now you might not think of this as prayer, but look at Psalm 142: 2-3. David (whom God called a man after His own heart) says: “I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way.”
David felt free to express what was in his heart to God. And God listened! God is not disturbed when we pray our doubts, complaints or heartaches (He knows them anyway.) Just read through the Psalms and you will find a wide variety of emotions expressed—from joy to utter despair! God is our Father and He wants us to come to Him with everything. But He wants us to come as a little child, with complete trust and faith, believing that He will meet us where we are.
God’s heroes are not those who sit in a pew and politely utter words that are far from their heart. He invites us to come before Him each day, express where we truly are, then get quiet and listen. As you read the Bible, He will speak to you, sometimes through a scripture verse, sometimes in a still small voice. And if the answer you need doesn’t come immediately, He simply asks you to trust in His goodness, His perfect timing and His perfect will. That is what prayer is all about!
I generally begin by praising Him and expressing thanks for all of my blessings and then just ask Him to come in. It goes something like, “Father, you know every meditation of my heart, every word from my mouth, every thought in my mind, and I pray that you guide me in ways that they are pleasing to you. . .” I ask for forgiveness of any presumptuous sins. I ask Him to make His will known to me and to give me the strength to carry it out (for His glory and not mine). When I am in despair I get like a frightened little kid and say, “Just show me what to do!!!”