Prayer is so much more than we ask ~ He listens. Prayer is a love relationship. It's growth and hope. Increasing understanding. Increasing usefulness. Abundant healing. And endless, endless joy.
The Pew Research Center reports that prayer is important to many Christians. Their research shows that 57% of Christians report praying at least once a day. However, that also means that nearly half of all Christians do not. So, what accounts for the lack of daily prayer for half of all believers?
Let’s start by looking at what prayer is not.
From the website, Focus On The Family, in their series on prayer, Prayer and the Difference It Makes, 2008, by Robert Velarde, comes the following:
• Prayer is not magic. We cannot summon God as though He were a genie...
• Prayer does not make demands. While we can make requests of God in prayer, we dare
not make demands...
• Prayer is for our benefit, not God's. We need a relationship with God, available to us
[only] through Jesus Christ...
• Prayer is not a guarantee against suffering. "In this world you will have trouble" (John
• Prayer is not an opportunity for us to show off.
Prayer is more simply defined for what it is. Prayer is relationship.
Our prayer life is a living, growing, loving relationship between a human spirit and the Creator of all things who is incapable of withholding his love from those who are his children.
What accounts for the lack of prayer in our lives? TIME ~ the lack of it. An absence of PRACTICES that help us maintain our prayer relationship. And misplaced PRIORITIES that don't recognize our immense need for him and his influence in our life that we receive through our unity with him in prayer.
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him. Psalm 32.10
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace
be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54.10
Our God's LOVE is:
Unfailing. Dependable. Steadfast. Endless.
Undying. Unfading. Inexhaustible! Boundless! Tireless! Ceaseless!
When we come to prayer He is there and already in love with us.
We know that enduring relationships are hard work, and that they mature only when honesty is present. Hiding behind a barrier of rationalizations, denial, or half-truths in our prayer relationship does not build that relationship. Those practices build walls.
When we have a lack of honesty we discourage growth in our prayer relationship. Why? Because God already knows all the truth about you. He is literally the Seer of Your Everything. So, lack of honesty in prayer (how we're feeling about others, ourself, or even God himself) keeps us trapped in an emotional cyclone. (Just where the enemy wants you!)
Richard Foster writes of the practice of Prayer:
"Prayer is the human response to the perpetual outpouring of love by which God lays siege to every soul."