But what is prayer exactly?
Prayer is simply talking to God. We can talk to God like we would our best friend. The Bible tells us:
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”Proverbs 18:24
This verse is talking about Jesus. In several places God assures us He “will never leave us nor forsake us.” Hebrews 13:5, Genesis 28:15, Joshua 1:5, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 23:4, Deut. 31:6, Deut. 31:8, Exodus 33:14, Psalm 27:1 Hebrews 13:5, and Psalm 48:14 are all good examples of these verses.
God wants us to come to Him and talk to Him about everything. There is no secret formula or magic words.
Famous Prayer Examples
Some of the most famous prayers are recorded in the Psalms. I love how open, honest, and at times completely raw David is about his thoughts and feelings with God.
We know from reading David’s story he made several mistakes. His life is a rollercoaster of highs and lows.
One minute he is taking care of his sheep just minding his own business, the next he is slaying a giant and becoming a national hero.
He goes from the being the “baby brother” who irritates his older brothers to being the King of Israel.
We can all relate to David at times. We all have days where we are on the mountain top and life is good. On those days, we praise God and thank Him for His goodness.
Then, there are the days when we find ourselves heartbroken and we don’t know what to do.
On those days, the solution is simple: go to God. Pour out your heart to Him. Tell Him exactly how you feel.
The thing is, God already knows. He knows what is on your heart. He knows what you are thinking and how you feel.
He sees you; He knows your name. He feels your pain and catches every tear.
God loves you so much more than you realize. He gave His only son as a sacrifice just for you.
Since God did that for us, we know that we can go to Him anytime, about anything.
When Should We Pray?
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
So, does this mean we are to pray all day every day? It means we are to have our minds on the things of God. To talk to Him about everything.
When you were a child did you ever try to do something only to have to ask your mom or your dad for help?
Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned so much about God’s complete and unconditional love for me.
I know from being a mom that I want my kids to know that not only can they talk to me about anything, but I want them to!
I may not like their choices or agree with their actions but because I love them, I want them to talk to me.
God feels the same way about you. He loves you and wants you to come to Him about everything.
We Can Pray Any Time and for Any Reason
- In the morning, before we get out of bed – giving God our day
- Before we eat meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner – to thank Him for our food
- During the day when good things happen to us – like a promotion at work
- During the day when bad things happen – loss of a loved one, or a job
- Any time we have a need – bills we can’t pay
- Before we travel
- For our children
- When we go to the doctor – for medical tests
- When we or someone we love is in the hospital
- When someone we love has a need
- Before bed – thanking God for the day
Who Do We Pray For?
We pray for ourselves because we want to know God’s will. The best way to do that of course is to read our Bible but we also need to pray and ask God for His wisdom and guidance.
We ask God to help us make the right decisions according to His will for our lives.
Sometimes we need to talk to God about the people in our lives. Not everyone is easy to live with or deal with.
These are usually the people who need us to share God’s love, mercy, and grace. These can also be the most difficult people to deal with.
At times like this we can go to our Father and ask for His help.
We talk to God about our loved ones and ask for His blessing on their lives.
If you have watched the news at all lately, I’m sure you realize we need to talk to God about our country.
We pray for our leaders and those running for office. It does not matter what country we live in; our leaders still need prayer.
As much as I am tempted to fuss about the economy or other issues, I’ve never been in their shoes. I have never run for office or had the responsibility to make those types of decisions.
Praying for our country and our leaders is very important.
Speaking of leaders, what about our church leaders? It seems like that is a very important responsibility.
Praying for our pastors, their wives, our music leaders and musicians, Deacons, Sunday School teachers and others in leadership positions. They all need our prayers.
As much as our church leaders need our prayers, we also need to pray for each other.
I can promise there are men, women, teens, and children sitting in our church pews every single Sunday smiling and hiding heartache we know nothing about.
Once, about two years ago, I went through one of the most difficult times of my life. I can’t even put into words the pain and heartache I felt.
It wasn’t long after this incident happened, I went to a revival service at a local church. The preacher’s wife caught me outside before I went in and asked if I was ok.
She said God woke her up three weeks before and told her to pray for me. She didn’t know why but said she had such a burden to pray for me.
Thank God for people who are obedient to God’s leadership!
Women Who Prayed
Who are some of the women who have influenced you with their prayers?
Mary, prayed about the message the angel brought her about giving birth to Jesus.
Hannah prayed for a baby – so intensely that the priest thought she was drunk.
Sarah’s maid, Hagar, prayed when Abraham sent her and her son away. Talk about family drama!
Others Who Prayed
We have already talked about David’s prayers recorded in Psalm.
I encourage you to read about great prayers in the Bible. Just a few include:
- All of the apostles
The bottom line is that prayer is very important in our lives as Christians.
Of anyone you could talk to in the course of your day about anything; the best place to go is to the throne of your Father.
He is waiting with open arms, unconditional love, and always has time. And the best part about talk with your Father?
He is just a prayer away.