Updated: 7 days ago
What is prayer to you? Is it a conversation with One you love, a list of petitions, or uttered only in emergencies? Learn more about what prayer is, the blessing of prayer and how to pray in today's devotional.
“Call to me and I will answer you and
tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
- Jeremiah 33:3
What do you think of when you think about prayer and praying?
In my own devotion time, I am in the process of a Bible study on prayer. What I am realizing is that there is a direct correlation between prayer and growing spiritually, emotionally and relationally, as well as living a life of trust and freedom in Christ Jesus.
We all come from different backgrounds and life experiences, but what does prayer mean to you personally? In my own life, there was a time when I thought the purpose of prayer was to praise and thank God, to make requests, and to ask His blessing. But in recent years the Lord has been teaching me that prayer is so much more than petition or thanksgiving. He is teaching me that it is also a conversation.
Think about someone you absolutely love and adore. Do you just love spending time with that person? Do you enjoy conversation with that person? Do you know his or her voice, personality, character, aspects of expression, and the little things that make him or her special and unique to you? That’s how God wants our relationship with Him to be like! He wants us to know Him intimately and for us to be known intimately by Him!
“What if God does not demand prayer as much as gives prayer? What if God wants prayer in order to satisfy us? What if prayer is a means to God nourishing, restoring, healing, and converting us? Suppose prayer is primarily allowing ourselves to be loved, addressed and claimed by God. What if praying means opening ourselves to the gift of God’s own self and presence? What if our part in prayer is primarily letting God be giver? Suppose prayer is not a duty but the opportunity to experience healing and transforming love?” 1
The Word of God is filled with prayers woven throughout both Old and New Testaments. Of all the books of the Bible that speak to me at every level and in every area of my life, is the Psalms. King David was far from perfect, yet David was called, “A man after God’s own heart.” Why? What set David apart that God would say that about him? I think it was David’s transparency; his complete trust in the Lord; his passionate love for God; his wholehearted acknowledgement of His need for God as his Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Rock, Shelter, Guide, Protector, Refuge, Deliverer, Defender, Friend, Lover of his soul.
When I read the Psalms, I am confronted with real human emotion and the freedom David felt to express all of it to the Lord. Reading “Trust in Him, people, at all times; pour out your heart before Him, God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8), I realized that I could express everything to the Lord. And that realization transformed my prayer life!
I began expressing my feelings, thoughts, desires, and needs to the Lord … all of them! His love so amazes me! He can take my hurt, sadness, frustration, and anger just as equally as my praise, thanksgiving, and gratitude. Expressing myself to God has become a conversation … which means I ask questions as well as listen. I am consistently amazed that He answers my questions, meets every need, fills the desires of my heart, and always … Oh, always reveals Himself to me!
“When a man [woman] is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him [her], and he [she] can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible’s idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.” 2
What I am also learning about prayer is that God is worthy of my complete, abandoned trust. He has shown His love, goodness, mercy, grace, compassion, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness to me over and over and over again. As one whose trust was violated in childhood, learning to trust God has not come easy. In fact, it has been one of my greatest challenges. Yet, He has repeatedly shown me that I can trust Him enough to pray for His will in my life. When I pray for God’s will to be done, I can rest confidently and patiently in Him.
“Knowing that God wants our communion encourages us to pray. But there is a necessary element to prayer that God needs from us in order for our prayers to be answered. What God wants is our faith. Faith is our belief, our trust, our dependence, our confidence.” 3
Paul writes in Ephesians 3:16 that we have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Jesus Christ. If there is a theme that is consistent from the first book of the Bible to the last … it is faith. Jesus also taught the importance of faith in relationship to prayer.
As the application part of this devotional, I encourage you to read John 14:8-15, Mark 11:20-26, James 1:5-8, and I John 5:13-15 and then write down all you learn about prayer from these verses. Ask the Lord to show you more of Himself and how much He loves you intimately and personally … and He will!
“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
and be gracious to me and answer me.
When Thou didst say, ‘Seek My face,’
my heart said to thee,
“Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. She is currently accepting new clients. You can learn more about Jen here.
Jennifer Stone-Sexton © 2022. Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
1 Martin Smith God is a Conversation quoted in Becoming a Woman of Prayer
2 Oswald Chambers 1935, 1963 My Utmost for His Highest
Barbour and Company, Inc., Westwood, NJ
3 Cynthia Heald 1996 Becoming a Woman of Prayer
Navpress, Colorado Springs, CO
Photo Credits: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash