What is Prayer? 

       Some think it’s a small thing because we’ve all heard this as an insult, “you don’t even have a prayer...” Some people must think of it as magic when they sit in front of a slot machine and pray for the big win. Some people think it’s one of the 5 ways to get through life - talk your way through (salesmen),   lie your way through (politician),  fight your way through (the knucklehead),  work your way through (the industrious),  pray your way through (the man or woman of God).

      Why pray? I think God wants us to. He knows this is a tough world and that all people will be challenged with needs of all sorts. He wants our needs to be met and communicate with Him. “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer." (1 Peter 3:12a)  It makes sense that God has his priorities. It seems that the ones who pray get answered-those who don’t pray don’t get the “stuff”. (If He is looking down on 100 people and 2 or 3 are praying and 97 are just fussing & complaining, who is He going to bless?) “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6) “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:2b-3).

      It appears that us humans are creatures of habit. We fall into all kinds good & bad; smoking, eating, biting fingernails, sex, work, scratching, boozing, doping, church, TV. Well the list could go on & on... But I believe prayer is a GOOD habit & also that it has the POWER to undermine and/or EAT bad habits. “...though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

      Too many people say they don’t have the time to pray. They think it can only be done on the knees. Well yes the knees are good “prayer bones”, but actually God hears prayer in any bodily position. If we have connected with J. C., God will hear & answer prayer regardless. The attitude of the heart is more important than the position of the body. Standing, walking, riding bicycle, driving a car, lying in bed, you name it. The habit is cultivated this way - pray any time about ANYTHING. I believe regular prayer in the name of Jesus is the heart & lungs of a working relationship with God. For over 44 years the writer of this has experienced God’s faithfulness in answering prayer - a few times almost before the “AMEN” was done.

      Naturally there are things that BLOCK answered prayer. Sin for instance. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me,” (Psalm 66:18 and others) Another thing that blocks prayer is a lack of salvation, but that is easy to fix. “Behold, I (J. C.) stand at the door & knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) Choose Jesus - He is alive. And pray . . . If He has heard & answered me a thousand times, He’ll answer you. We are all equal from His point of VIEW.

Many other titles:  www.gospelnotes.net  - link 1 is index                                      * * F. J. Stone * *
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