What is Prayer?

What is prayer? How do we pray? What should we pray for? These are some of the questions about prayers that we are going to discuss in this blog.

Prayer is among the most powerful spiritual tools we can use to improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father. A true Christian can’t call himself a follower of God without prayer.

Wrong understanding of prayer

It is important to know what prayer is. Sadly, there are a lot of people who have the wrong idea of what prayer really is. Over the past decades, there have been some attempts to study the power of prayer and almost all of them concluded that prayer is not effective.

Many years ago, the LA Times published an article with the title, “Largest Study of Prayer to Date Finds It Has No Power to Heal.”

The article mentioned that prayer has no power to heal sicknesses. It goes on to say:

The largest study yet on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that it provided no benefit to the recovery of patients who had undergone cardiac bypass surgery… 

The results showed that prayers had no beneficial effect on patients’ recovery 30 days after surgery. Overall, 59% of patients who knew they were being prayed for had complications, compared to 51% of the patients who did not receive prayers. The difference was not considered statistically significant.

As you can see, if there’s anything that this study proves, it is that we can’t manipulate God. The study assumed that if we simply and technically pray to God, we can easily make him bend to our will.

What if the person you’re praying to doesn’t want to get healed? What if that sick person refused to change his sedentary lifestyle that has caused his sickness in the first place? What if God has a better plan for that sick person?

As you can see, not all prayers are answered in the way we want them to be. That’s not how prayer really works. That’s not what real prayer is.

A video about what prayer really is.

Prayer is not to force God

Read carefully: prayer is not a way to manipulate God.

God is not some kind of a genie who grants all our wishes. Instead, He is a Father who listens to our prayers and grants us what is best for us. When we pray, we must present our request and supplication to God, but we must still seek God’s will in whatever matter we present.

What is prayer?

So, what is true prayer? What is the proper way to pray? How should we pray?

At its simplest definition, prayer is talking to God.

The Hebrew word for prayer is tephillah, which means:

  • prayer, 
  • intercession, 
  • supplication, 
  • or by implication, a hymn.

On the other hand, the Greek word for prayer is deesis or proseuche. It means:

  • prayer, 
  • request, 
  • Petition,
  • and supplication.

As you can see, prayer is more than just thinking or talking to oneself. It is even not just mere meditation. It is actually a way for us to talk to Yahweh, the Most High God who is the supreme Ruler of this vast universe.

A communication line open 24/7

You don’t need to set an appointment. You don’t need to pay for international calls. You don’t have to be part of an elite or special group. You don’t even have to be rich or have the right connections to talk to God!

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is just one prayer away? All we have to do is talk to Him and He will listen.

Prayer is among the most powerful spiritual tools that a Christian can use in his journey toward the Kingdom of God. No person can claim that they are a Christian without developing the habit of prayer.

Pray to God

The first thing we need to remember is that our prayers should be directed to God. We don’t pray to any dead saints. We don’t pray to the sun, moon, and stars. We don’t pray to any other gods.

Yahshua or Jesus said in Matthew 6:9:

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

You see, Christ instructed us to pray to the Father.

Pray in faith

The next thing we must do is pray in faith.

We read in James 1:6:

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 

This is one reason that we must strive to increase our faith because it is an important part of prayer. It is difficult to pray to God and ask for His help when at the same time, we are doubting. 

When we pray, we must always have the confidence in God that He will give us what is good for us. It might not be what we prayed for, but we know that God is always in control.

Pray for God’s will

Finally, when we pray, we pray for God’s will to be done.

When we pray, we are not to demand from God. We are not to force God into doing what we want.

Prayer is and should be the recognition that God is greater than us and that He knows what’s best for us. Yes, we can pray and ask God for what we want, but we must ultimately entrust our lives in His infinite wisdom and love.

Psalms 84:11 tells us:

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

As you can see, God has always our best interest in mind. If what we are asking is good for us, He will give it to us. So, don’t feel disappointed, discouraged, or angry if you didn’t receive what you prayed for. Instead, be thankful that God is actually giving you better things than what you asked for.

Final words

So, in summary, prayer is what you do as a true disciple of Christ. You can’t call yourself a real Christian if you don’t develop the godly habit of prayer.

When we pray, we must pray to God, pray in faith, and pray for God’s will to be done in our lives.

When we do this, friends, we are on our way to having a better and more effective prayer life.

(P.S. Thank you so much for reading through this blog and I hope you learned something new today. Please don’t forget to join our free masterclass, “What is the meaning of life?” The class only lasts for 25 minutes, but its impact will last a lifetime. It’s free and you can take the class any time. Register today!)


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