Prayer is a Key Christian Belief
Prayer is a universal human experience. There is not a culture in the world that does not have some means of prayer, some way of communicating with the Divine. That is why I have chosen to examine prayer.
Prayer is one of the “key beliefs” of Christians. Prayer illuminates our relationship with God and allows us to express our love for Him, our faith and hope in Him. We have the opportunity to share our concerns, fears, needs and desires with the Almighty. The quality of our prayer life is directly related to the quality of our spiritual life and our knowledge of God. If we understand the purpose of prayer and it’s components, we are able to strive towards enhancing our prayer life where it becomes rich and fulfilling. When we develop our prayer life, we develop a stronger and deeper relationship with God; our prayers become our point of power.
Definition of Prayer
Pray is a means of communicating with God. Aside from studying the Word of God, prayer is a method used to help us develop a relationship with God and also to know His will for our lives. Prayer is the privilege of speaking and listening to God. Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines prayer as conversation with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory; or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex. 32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps. 73:28); and "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Components of Prayer
There are four components of prayer: worship or praise, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.
Praise is an acknowledgement of God’s goodness, greatness, and loving kindness. After King David assembled the building materials for the future temple, he declared, “Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty; yours is the kingdom” (1 Chr 29:11). Kind David was praising God. He was acknowledging God’s goodness and greatness because even though he was building a temple to offer to God, he knew that only by God’s greatness is he able. According to Fee and Stuart (1993), “God deserves praise for his greatness and goodness in spite of and in the midst of our misery. This life holds no certainty of freedom from distress” (p. 205).
Christians pray to confess their sins. Confession might be defined as telling God the truth about oneself. Confession is the process of bringing the darkness of ones faults to the light of God’s forgiveness. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). This means that one must not only confess one’s sins but one most also repent. When the Lord convicts us of sin, we need to own it, confess it, and then believe in God’s willingness to forgive...