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New Believer: Prayer

What is Prayer?

In any relationship, whether with a friend, family member, or coworker, communication is essential.We were designed for a relationship, not only with one another, but with God. When we sinned, a gap between us and God was formed. We could not talk to Him freely, get to know Him more, or spend time with Him. The Good News is that the gap has been closed and we can have restored access to an intimate relationship with God (Ephesians 2:18). Now, we can actually talk to God, we call this prayer. Since we cannot physically see God, this can be hard to understand. How do we begin to talk to something that we can't see? What do we say to Him? How much do we talk to Him? These are all appropriate questions, but there are some things we must understand first before we can answer them!

The first thing we must understand about prayer is that God knows everything. He does not get caught off guard, nor is He surprised by the most tragic of events. He knows every situation on this Earth. Every burden on our heart. Every thought in our mind. The Bible says He even knows every hair that is on our head (Luke 12:7). But God is not just a big know-it-all who is disconnected from His Children. Instead, He hears our voices when we speak to Him (Psalm 116:1-2). 

God desires for us to be like Him, set apart from the sinful life we once lived in (1 Peter 1:16). He delights in answering the prayers of those who are walking with Him ( John 15:7) and actively desiring to be like Him in character. Being tuned into God's Word, the Bible, is important for us because it helps us to understand the desires of God's heart for us (Psalm 37:4). When we pray in harmony with His heart, we can be assured that He hears us and that He has intentions to answer us.

How Do I Pray?

Since prayer is communication, we can do this out loud, or silently. We are instructed in Scripture to spend time with God alone and with other believers. Every one of our prayers normally fall in one of several categories. 

We pray to praise - Acknowledging God's greatness over all things

We pray to confess -  Acknowledging our sin before God and asking for help to change

We pray to give thanks - Expressing our thankfulness for specific things in our lives

We pray to intercede - Asking for God's help in the life of another

We pray to petition - Asking for God's help and provision in our lives

At times, it may be difficult to talk to God. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit speaks for us when we do not know what to pray for (Romans 8:26-27). This confirms that God hears us even when we have a hard time speaking. The important thing to remember is that God wants us to talk to Him. As you continue in your relationship with Christ, we encourage you to ask Him for help in understanding what it means to follow Him.