What Is a Prayer
One of the most essential parts of Christianity is prayer. Prayer is an integral element of our Christian faith and all forms of Christian worship, and is communicating with God. In the early church worship was inseparable, the law of belief is the law of prayer. The Lord’s Prayer has always been an essential element in the meetings held by early Christians. In early Christianity fasting and prayer were hand in hand. Prayer was treasured because it was considered fellowship with the father. Prayer was considered to have its own reward, communing with God in prayer is itself the prize. The rewards for a life of faithful prayer in the secret place involve not only enlarged responsibilities but enhanced spiritual capacities. In early Christianity prayer was considered an attitude of worship and thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit was actively helping early Christians with learning how to pray and helping them pray after the death of Jesus. Prayer has been always important in early Christianity as well as in the present day.
The theology of prayer examines the nature of prayer and its contribution to a better understanding of God and the relationship that is formed with him. Prayer begins with the affirmation that there is a God and that we can communicate with him. These rules out any deism, which means that God is absent and that the creator has created and abandon after his creation. The question of God’s presence with his creation is still theologically complex. Prayer operates in the theological conviction that God is with us, that he experiences our joys, sadness, and fears and that he listens to us when we speak his name. The communion with God is considered prayer with God. In this encounter with God through prayer, our minds become morally and spiritually renewed, with our mind being nurtured and reenergized, and we are enabled to stand before him to serve him. Through prayer we ask God to manifest his power over the forces of evil that oppose our service to him. We connect for others in order for God’s power to work for the benefit of others. Our prayers reveal to the world and to the forces of evil that we have taken God’s side in the conflict. Within that conceptual and experiential setting, prayer can be described as an act of rebellion against the forces of evil. When we pray, we witness to the fact that we have not submitted ourselves to the claims of the enemy, that we only recognize the claim of Christ over us as creator and redeemer. Prayer becomes a subject of theological reflection in connection with Christ’s redemptive work. Prayer cannot be separated from Christ’s work of salvation. In a theological aspect praying is not simply talking to God, as important as that is; it is also a religious act through which we proclaim our need and constant reliance on Christ’s redemptive work for us. Prayer is simply recalling the moment when we surrendered our will to God through repentance, confession, and conversion. From that moment on we began to walk in newness of life according to God’s will for us. We submitted to Him because through the work of the Spirit in our hearts we were absolutely persuaded that His will for us was always good. In the surrendering of our will, prayer and the love for Christ intersect with each other. Prayer is fundamentally a representation of the good news of salvation. The key elements of the gospel are embodied in the very act and experience of praying. Prayer integrates theology and the practice of personal devotion to God in a way that perhaps no other act of worship can. Framed within some of the deepest theological topics in Christian theology, it represents our first encounter with the good news of salvation in Christ. Prayer is essentially a proclamation of that gospel, a ritual embodiment of it in the act of worshiping the Lord.
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. . Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord. The bible speaks of prayer consistently in the bible but we do not always continue that practice of prayer. We sometimes get the idea in our mind that we don’t need prayer and that we can get through our lives without it. We look at our own personal strengths of our own wills of the things that we want and desire to have. We often kneel in prayer for healing, conversation and needs answers to those questions often do not come as we expect. We prayer for our desire for God to hear us and for us to see the results in which we have prayed for. We should pray consistently trusting in God. Prayer changes the one praying because in prayer, you are in the presence of God as you lay before him your complete self in confession and dependence. There is nothing to hide when in quiet place of peace where you are reaching into the deepest part of yourself and admitting our needs and failures. Prayer helps the one whom is praying as well as the person that the prayer is being prayed for. Prayer produces faith; a person with faith without prayer is like a skeleton less a body. Prayer will lead us to confession. Prayer will lead us to conviction. Prayer will lead us to conformation. Prayer leads us to declaration. Prayer will lead us to make decisions of righteousness. Prayer will lead us to stand firm in Jesus. Prayer will lead us to a victorious life. It is very important to have and sustain a prayerful life. Scriptures were written in in prayer form so we could all lift our voices as one voice to our heavenly father. Only prayer will invite God’s presence and God’s presence will bring anointing. It is through knowing God in prayer that he is able to touch man’s condition and give a wonderful divine revelation. The spirit of God was designed to become our constant teacher and guide individually and cooperatively in our prayer lives. Prayer is effective and accurate and brings results. God watches over his word to perform it. Prayer is the “living” word in your mouth.
According to researchers that have looked into whether prayer works or not it has been proved that it does. There was a study that was done that proved the fact that prayer is real and that it works. In 1988 a cardiologist Randolf Byrd, MD who works for the University of California at San Francisco school of medicine. The research began with 393 patients that either had heart attacks or severe chest pains or both. Half of the patients were prayed for of course they were not aware of it, and the other half was not prayed for. Seventeen of those not prayed for needed antibiotics, compared to three in the prayed-for group. Fifteen not prayed for needed diuretics, compared with five prayed for. Twenty not prayed for had congestive heart failure; only eight prayed for had it. Fourteen not prayed for had cardiopulmonary arrest, compared to three prayed for. Thirteen not prayed for got pneumonia, compared to three prayed. Twelve not prayed for needed mechanical respirators, and none of the prayed for did. In this study it shows the power of prayer as well. There are now over eighty medical institutions that study the impact that prayer has on healing and whether the studies were accurate as it was portrayed. This study accurately confirms that there is power in prayer and that it works. There have also been other studies that try to make the study out to not be true. The study was designed to answer the question “Does intercessory prayer work?” It does work the study proved how the patients that were being prayed for health had progressed. They became less dependent on drugs and were able to begin a normal healthy lifestyle not dependent on anything. Prayer truly works and can heal mentally and physically.
In one’s personal life prayer can be one of the most important things that can be done to enhance their life mentally, physically, and spiritually. I have come to the realization that having a prayer life gives you power. I have learned to pray about everything and worry about nothing. I began to have a personal relationship with God. He became my best friend I speak to God in regular conversation. I began to give myself to him and in return my life began to change drastically as well as my attitude. Building that relationship with God opened many doors for me professionally. I began to wake up every morning and give thanks to God. I would start my prayers with what I was expecting out of my day and the things I was expecting in my future. Prayer can change how you think and give you a new outlook on life. Prayer keeps you covered and prevents you from allowing the enemy to claim defeat on you or over your life. Through prayer I was able to stay in faith. In my prayers God began to tell me that my life would be in victory. I began to speak the positive words of life and prosperity because God had given me all the things that I needed to continue. God gave me grace and mercy through prayer and he gave me the words to encourage others and to encourage them to have a relationship with him. The Holy Spirit allowed me to see the importance of having a prayer life and how important it was for God and me to spend that time together daily. He explained to me that prayer is like taking a shower every morning you know that you have to do it before you go to work. He said to me you are not going to go anywhere without you taking a shower and putting on clean clothes. At that moment in time I realized how important it was for me to make sure that I took out that time to for God. Prayer can give you the opportunity to learn who you are in Christ and who God has already called you to be in your life. I knew that I was well equipped to handle things that I didn’t think that I was because he told me that I was able. Everything that happens is in divine order, at that time I realized that I am informed enough to celebrate the victory God had already had for me. Prayer also enforces that you speak everything that you anticipate and what you would like to come out of your life because you speak everything to be in existence. Beware that there is power in the tongue life and death; and you have to only speak the things that you want and not the negative. "Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God's infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of the prayer. But we must use the key. Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do anything, prayer is omnipotent." God notices the longing, the desiring, the sighing, and the crying. Prayer leads to rewards in eternity. The work that we do here on earth now will greatly enhance our capacity for enjoying eternity. Prayer is one of the most important elements of nourishing our personal relationship with God. I have discovered that the more time that I spend, the better I begin to know God himself and the more I see things from his perspective. Prayer does not so much change the outward circumstances of our situations as much as it transforms the way we view those circumstances and situations. Often it is our spirits and our attitudes that need changing.
There have been a number of studies and speculations on whether prayer actually works. In fact prayer can change your life and allow you to change others. I have researched the importance of prayer as well as studies that have proven that prayer does work. Although not everyone is convinced that prayer really works the fact of lives being changed it cannot be denied either. The only thing that can continue is the speculations that prayer is just something that we believe in to give us hope. As easy as it is for some not to believe scientists have proven evidence that prayer is in fact real and that it works. I can say that the power of prayer has truly blessed me and enhanced my life. Prayer has allowed me to have an interpersonal relationship with God. I know him and I desire to be more like him daily. I could have never fathomed what the power of prayer has done in my life. I am able to encourage others to have a life full of prayer. Prayer teaches you how to be like God and it teaches you to be faithful. Prayer is what brings the change in your life; prayer is key to having a successful and prosperous life. Prayer it changes things, people and it works.
Works Cited Page “Prayer a Theological Reflection” by: James D. Whitehead
“Prayer: Finding the Heart’s true Home” by: Richard Foster
“Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine” by: Larry Dosey
“Power through Prayer” by: E.M. Bounds http://www.wordsoflife.co.uk/BibleStudy/Series9/Study5.htm Following on to Know the Lord by: Francis Dixon
“The Power of Simple Prayer: How to Talk With God about Everything” by: Joyce Meyer