September 13, 2017
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word prayer?
Here are the usual thoughts:
Prayer is boring….
Prayer is just for religious people….
Prayer is just for the prayer team…
Prayer is just for women….
Prayer is complicated….
Prayer is not for me….
Sound familiar? These statements are just some of the common misconceptions and mindsets that people believe about prayer.
A few years ago, I was one of those people who cringed, got nervous, and backed off, whenever I was asked to pray even for just a small group of people. I remember telling myself, “I JUST CANNOT PRAY!”
Are you the same way?
During that time, I thought it was an issue of lacking skills, because I’ve encountered people who prayed eloquently and powerfully. They prayed straight English, so I thought that I must be good at English first before I could pray. Others prayed so powerfully by quoting verses from the Bible, and so I thought I needed to become a mature Christian who memorized a lot of verses before I could pray like them.
This was until God made me realize that prayer was an issue of the heart. The greatest motivation of prayer is not skills or excellence, but love. Paul emphasizes this in 1 Corinthians 13: 2 onwards, reminding us that when all things become vain when done without love.
Learning to pray is understanding God’s unconditional love. Why? Because the very foundation of prayer is the love of God. We have to understand that prayer is only a response to God’s amazing love for us.
God communicates to us through His Word, the Bible, and we respond to Him through prayer. Prayer then is simply communicating with God. And just like any kind of relationship, the more we spend time talking with one another, the more we develop our loving relationship with each other.
Take for example Jesus and His Father: Jesus was so full of love for His Father that He developed His relationship with Him through prayer! If you would notice, in His account, Jesus always withdrew himself from the crowd–even from His disciples–just to pray alone with His Father (Luke 5:16). For Jesus, prayer was a communion with His Father. Prayer developed His intimacy with Him.
And so I realized, prayer is a person’s utmost expression of devotion, delight, and love to the one who laid down His life for us––Jesus.
Prayer is NOT boring. Prayer is LOVING.
Prayer is NOT just for religious people. Prayer is for every person who has a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Prayer is NOT just for the prayer team. Prayer is for EVERYONE who loves God.
Prayer is NOT just for women. Prayer is the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of both men and women when they talk to God.
Prayer is NOT complicated. Prayer is SIMPLE. It is a TWO WAY COMMUNICATION between you and God.
Prayer is NOT just for me. Prayer is FOR YOU, too! YES, FOR YOU!
If you consider yourself someone who has received the love of God, then you are called to a relationship with Him as expressed through prayer.
Prayer is not a task to do; prayer is a relationship to enjoy and a calling to live out.
When God calls us to pray He is actually calling us to experience His unconditional love, and as a result, we learn to reciprocate His love. We learn to express it to Him and to others.
You want to know how to pray? Easy! Just imagine how you relate with your closest friends. You can’t go a day without connecting to them, right? Do the same with God. He is the author of relationships, and the way we relate to others is also our way of relating to Him. In short, just keep receiving His love by letting His Word remind you that you are loved, and GROW in it—grow in your knowledge of His love. Then, you will see its powerful effect in your prayer life—for yourself, and for others.
At the end of the day, the Holy Spirit will help you to connect to the Father. If you don’t know where to start, just invite the Holy Spirit to help you get to know the Father more.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (and daughters) of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
The Holy Spirit is always there to help you relate with God. Remember, the God of the universe wants to connect with you and wants you to call Him “Daddy”. Enjoy your relationship with your Dad! Enjoy your time of prayer!