Prayer is one of those Christian words that can get talked about so much we lose the essence of what it means. There are numerous books and hundreds of definitions on prayer. Most of them are great. Many of them help us better understand an element of prayer.
So, what is prayer? Prayer is communication with God, for the sake of communion with God.
Prayer is more than merely communicating with God. Communication shares information between two people. We can communicate via text message, email and status updates on social media.
Prayer is more than merely relaying facts to God. God already knows the hairs on your head, your thoughts before you think them, and your actions before you take them. He doesn’t need a factual update. He desires to commune with you through your communication with Him.
Communication is key in any relationship. I realized this when Shanna and I went through premarital counseling. We knew a couple that mentored and helped prepare us for life as a married couple. One morning over breakfast the husband of that couple asked about an issue we were working through. He looked at Shanna and asked if we had worked through this particular issue and she said, “Yes.” Then he looked at me and asked me the same question and I said, “Yes.”
Then he looked right at me and said, “Scott, I want to teach you something about communicating with your wife. Often times women communicate with their eyes, not just with their words.” I looked over at Shanna and saw a tear running down her cheek. Then he said to me, “You two are not done working through this.”
I had missed that while we had communicated, we failed to connect. We had communication without communion. She said words, I said words. But we failed to connect, which is key to real genuine communication. It is key to any good relationship that we connect on a heart to heart level. God wants this with you.
It is amazing that the God of the universe longs to communicate with you, and about more than facts about your life or a grocery list of needs. God actually wants to commune with you. To connect in an intimate personal way where your heart becomes more and more like His.
“Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face to God.” Martin Lloyd-Jones