One of the greatest gifts afforded to every Christian is prayer. For every discussion about prayer there will be varied opinions leading to discussions of prayers that have been answered, prayers which resulted in changed lives, or prayers that accomplished purposes for which there is no explainable answer.
Prayer is conversing with God. The Bible is filled with examples and stories about those who prayed. Even Jesus, during his earthly ministry removed himself from his followers and spent quiet times with the Father. The apostle Paul in his writings was insistent on Christians praying for him and for one another. The early Christians which are the focus of the book of Acts, were always praying for each other and for those outside Christianity.
The point is, God loves to converse with his people. He longs to be in such an intimate relationship with us that merits conversation with him. Almost every Christian will have a story about a situation where they prayed for some specific answer to a problem, and through the word of God, or through a nudging from within, or encouragement from other Christians, the answer came.
One of the blessings of prayer is that even when we do not know what to pray for, the Spirit of God which lives in us actually represents us before God's throne. It's nice to know that we humans have the presence of the Divine to assist us in our conversations with God.
Those sections of scripture which we know as "The Lord's Prayer," were the result of people asking questions about how to pray. There are some who do not prefer to pray publicly, but may be some of the strongest Christians through their personal and quiet times talking to God.
Some would have you to believe prayer is like a magic wand God waves, giving us everything we want, or think we want. Still others will associate successful prayers with an accompanying donation of financial support. When will we learn the simplicity of just carrying on a conversation with God, and a willingness to wait for his answer? What about you? What do you talk about when you pray to God?
Your prayers may be in the form of thanksgiving, thanking God for physical and spiritual blessings he has sent your way. You might even include prayers for others who are struggling with an illness, a death in their family, financial burdens, work related problems, rebellious children, etc. There are countless things going on in our lives, and God wants us to talk to him about them.
Prayer is a time when we can really be ourselves because God already sees us as we are. It's not a time for us to remind him how good we are, but a wonderful time for us to thank him for how good he is. It is impossible for me to know what is on your heart today. Praise, complaints, sins, problems, whatever it might be. Today is the day you can spend some time with God in prayer and pour your heart out to him. (More on prayer each day this week here in the blog.)