The purpose for prayer is two way communication with GOD…
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are instructed to “pray without ceasing.”
What does that mean and how do we do that?
Certainly it doesn’t mean that we are to stay in our devotional prayer closet all day, because we have other things to do in life – like earning a living; taking care of our families and the business of life.
Listen to the words of Jesus along this line, when He answers the question of what it mean to love GOD, from GOD’S point of view.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Jesus promises the Spirit
15-20 “If you really love me, you will keep the commandments I have given you and I shall ask the Father to give you someone else to stand by you, to be with you always.
I mean the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, for it can neither see nor recognise that Spirit.
But you recognise him, for he is with you now and will be in your hearts.
I am not going to leave you alone in the world—I am coming to you. In a very little while, the world will see me no more but you will see me, because I am really alive and you will be alive too.
When that day come, you will realise that I am in my Father, that you are in me, and I am in you.
23-24 And to this Jesus replied, “When a man loves me, he follows my teaching.
Then my Father will love him, and we will come to that man and make our home within him.
The man who does not really love me will not follow my teaching. Indeed, what you are hearing from me now is not really my saying, but comes from the Father who sent me.
Jesus asks the question, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?”
43-51 So Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. Nobody comes to me unless he is drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up when the last day comes.
In the prophets it is written—‘And they shall all be taught by God,’ and this means that everybody who has heard the Father’s voice and learned from him will come to me.
Not that anyone has ever seen the Father except the one who comes from God—he has seen the Father.
I assure you that the man who trusts in him has eternal life already. I myself am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate manna in the desert, and they died.
This is bread that comes down from Heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die.
I myself am the living bread which came down from Heaven, and if anyone eats this bread he will live for ever. The bread which I will give is my body and I shall give it for the life of the world.”
Actually the purpose of our having this unending communion with God, called prayer, is not for us to give God our instructions and advice Him of our daily needs, though that’s part of it; but mostly it’s about our having a connection with Him throughout our day – every day – 24/7 365; and it’s also about our receiving instructions from Him and rhema revelation (see Matthew 6:31-33).
GOD says: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
What Is Prayer?
Most people might say it’s talking to God, mostly to ask for what we need.
This is partially true, but a crucial piece is missing. In Jeremiah, God tells the Israelites, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer 33:3).
As F. B. Huey Jr., says, this verse links revelation with prayer:
“The invitation suggests that divine revelation becomes reality when it is sought” (see Mt 7:7; cf., Jas 4:2–3).
Timothy Keller further explains how prayer is connected to God’s revelation:
What is prayer, then, in the fullest sense?
Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him. . . .
The power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God.
This is why, as Donald S. Whitney says, “of all the Spiritual Disciplines, prayer is second only to the intake of God’s Word in importance.”
Prayer is second in importance because it relies on our knowledge of God, which comes from reading his Word.
Without engagement with Scripture, our prayers are lacking. It’s like having a phone conversation where the other person can hear us but we can’t hear them.
Hearing from God by engaging Scripture changes us. But does prayer change God?
The Bible doesn’t explicitly say how our prayers influence God. But it does say we can be confident he hears us if we pray according to his will (see 1Jn 5:1).
Our concerns about whether prayer changes God are lessened when we consider we would not want him to answer a prayer that was not according to his will.
Now that we have these missing pieces, we can craft a more comprehensive definition of prayer:
Prayer is an encounter with God that is initiated by him through his Word and that changes our hearts as we humbly communicate and worship the Lord, confess our sins and transgressions and ask him to fulfill both our needs and the desires of our heart.
(from Lifehacks Study Bible)
Charles Spurgeon said – “Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.”
“God has of his own motion placed himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated himself to answer the prayers of men.
He has ordained prayer as a means whereby he will do things through men as they pray, which he would not otherwise do.
If prayer puts God to work on earth, then, by the same token, prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs, and prevents him from working.
The driving power, the conquering force in God’s cause is God himself.
‘Call on me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which though knowest not,’ is God’s challenge to prayer.
Prayer puts God in full force into God’s work.”
[E.M. Bounds “The Weapon of Prayer” Chap. 2]
Come join the Adventure!