I thought that before starting this thirty days of prayer challenge that I should first find out what exactly is prayer. I grew up praying ever since I could speak. I have prayed; kneeling by my bedside at home, on an airplane, on a dangerous ride at a theme park, in school exam rooms, at doctor’s offices, while sitting in the dentist’s chair, while at a check out counter, at an atm machine, before opening any letter from the government, in the interviewing room for a job, at a friend’s gravesite, at a friend’s bed at the intensive care unit, a police station, while staring at a really handsome guy, in a tap tap driving through the dangerous roads in Haiti, in my bathroom, and of course at church and the list can go on and on. I have prayed everywhere for everything and at anytime, but not until today when I decided to go on this journey of praying earnestly for thirty days that it occurred to me that I’m not sure that I knew what prayer was or why we pray or how we should pray and to whom I should pray. It struck me that everything I knew about prayer I learned from those around me and I never really had that profound need to know much about prayer. That changed today, today I decided that as I was going on this journey that there were somethings that I should know and so I thought about them all day and decided that I will incorporate these questions into my prayer life and today was the biggest challenge. What is prayer?
I figured that unless I quote Wikipedia as a source that I would give of the impression that I wasn’t up to the times so I decided to see what what Wikipedia’s definition of prayer was and it was interesting to say the least and Wikipedia did not disappoint. It states that “Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song” So in other words prayer is just a conversation held anywhere, anytime with God and that it is an act of worship. So my parents and others were right all along, prayer is talking to your best friend, only thing is that this best friend won’t tell anyone else your secret.
I must admit that I felt pretty good after realizing that I had the right idea all along but still I searched deeper and this time I went to the Bible. The word prayer itself without its other variations is mention over three hundred times in the Bible, prayer played a great role in the lives of Biblical characters from the great King Solomon and Queen Esther to Hanna and Jabez, and when these people prayed miracles happened.
I have now come to the conclusion that prayer is a conversation with my God, it is our communication line that is always open, it is my act of worship to Him but also my petition. It is going to Him and crying on His shoulders but also to sing His praises for what He has done for me. Prayer is my way of keeping my relationship with my Savior on fire and also my way of knowing that He is my guide.
On this first day of prayer I am focusing on answering certain questions. What is prayer to me? Tomorrow I focus on how to pray.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18