Prayer is a very important part of being a believer. The scriptures are full of countless instructions on the need to pray.
From Jesus himself to all the apostles, believers have been enjoined, one way or another on the need to pray. The importance of communicating spiritually is so pronounced in the Christian faith, that we find many children being taught several rhymes and quotes on the need to pray. A popular example is ‘a prayer-less Christian is a powerless Christian’
Prayer Changes Things
Many people would wonder why we pray as believers. Is it because Jesus asked us to or is just a mere religious routine? While it is enough that we pray simply because of Jesus’ instruction, we should also pray because it’s a means of change the world.
Through prayer we can change circumstances and scenarios about and around us. The Bible says that ‘‘if we ask anything from the father, believing, then we receive it”. This makes it clear that prayer is a source of change.
In the book of Acts, we see the apostles pray many times for change, and we see miracles happened based on what they prayed for.
Types of Prayers
There are different types of prayers Christians use to communicate with God. Based on your need or reason for prayer, you can employ any of these type. We have:
- Prayers of intercession: Here we pray for others.
- Prayers of supplication: This is a prayer where the focus is on getting things from God
- Prayers of Thanksgiving: Like the name suggest, adoration and thanks are the focuses of this prayer
- Apostolic ( Pauline) prayers: These are the prayers prayed by Paul and the apostles for the church.
How Does the Bible Define Prayers?
There is no express definition for prayer in the bible. However based on the scriptures, we can define prayer as talking to God and God talking back to us. Jesus prayed several times in the bible and we see a conversational tone where he simply spoke to the father. The disciples across the book of Acts also prayed and we see that many times God spoke back when they spoke to him. All the times that prayer was used it was always addressed to God and many times God spoke back to men. That helps us define prayer.
Expressions of Prayer
There are several schools of thought concerning the medium of expressing prayers. However the most widely regarded is that of the catholic church. According to them there are 2 major expressions of prayer, namely vocal and mental prayer.
Mental expressions as to do with the mind. Meditation, and contemplation are under mental expressions of prayer. Vocal as the name implies as to do with speaking.
How Should I Pray?
There is no defined ‘how’ to commune with God. Especially as relating to posture or the closing of eyes, among other things. However, Jesus gave a pattern in the Lord’s Prayer that can serve as a guide. Communicating with God starts with Thanksgiving ( Hallowed be thy name). Then the prayer proceeds to invoking the Will of God. The next thing is to pray for provision and then pray for men. After which, we pray for help and safety. Your prayer should end with adoration. ( Matthew 6:9-13)
While it is not compulsory that we follow that pattern letter for letter. Our communication to God should capture all these manners of prayer.
Another important way to pray is in the spirit. This way we are in tune with the heart of the father as we pray.
Scriptures to Use when Praying
There are a couple of Bible verses that can help you build up faith when praying to God. You can also pray these scriptures back to God. they include;
- “I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. – Jonah 2:2
- The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7
- Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
- “O Lord, since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” Psalm 31:3
- Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40: 31
Importance of Prayer
The importance of communicating with God cannot be over emphasized, it is a source of strength and edification, it is a means of changing circumstances and situations. It is a platform of fellowship with the Father. It makes power available to a believer and it is an important part of spiritual growth. Jesus was not exaggerating when he said: ’Men Ought to Pray’