In the most basic sense prayer is talking to God as we have fellowship with God. It’s a simple act of talking to God but it is also a spiritual act because talking to the Living God is not just any conversation with any person. Just like when talking to people, what you know about the person will dictate how you talk to the person, what you talk, the approach and so on. So also, what we know about God will dictate how we approach God in prayer. Someone once said, ‘A failure to pray is often a failure to grasp who God truly is. To be clear on prayer we need to be clear on who God is.’ To put in a different way, most of the challenges we have with prayer stem from the challenge we have in understanding who God is.
What do we know about God? What are some of his attributes?
Let’s briefly discuss these attributes of God and how they affect prayer.
Omniscient (Matt 6:32). God who knows everything and nothing can be hidden from Him. He even knows what we need before we ask it.
Omnipresent. We pray to a God who is everywhere through His Spirit. Therefore we do not need to worry about being in a particular location for His to hear us as we pray.
Loving. We pray to a God that cares and loves us that he made a way for us to be reconciled with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins.
Invisible. We pray to a God who we cannot see and therefore we need to place our faith in Him as we pray to Him.
Merciful. We pray to a God who forgives sin and welcomes repentant sinners.
Holy. He is the God who is majestic and pure. We pray to a God that is Holy and does not love sin. He is a God who can also make us holy and more like Him.
All Wise. God is full of wisdom and knowledge. Through wisdom and knowledge he created the world. We can then trust that as the only Wise God he can answer our prayers not just in accordance to our will but in accordance to His will which we may not understand at the moment but can trust that it is for the best for those who have put their trust in Him.
Just. We pray to a God who is perfectly righteous in all His judgments and so we can Trust that he will ultimately bring justice to the prayers of His saints.
Relational God. God not only Loves us, He desires for us to be part of His family. Through Jesus Christ God has created a way for us to be adopted to the family of God. For that we can approach God as a Father. God does not want us to use prayer as an ATM machine to just get things from Him. He wants prayer to be an avenue for us to come know Him more. For God the main purpose of prayer is for us to come to a more fuller knowledge of He is. He is The Father who wants his children to Know more and trust Him more.
This is not a conclusive list of the attributes of God and what we can learn from them as a starting point for us as we continue to walk in faith.
But three important points to keep in mind as we continue in prayer are:
God’s people make their prayers known to Him.
God hears and sees their prayers.
God acts in response to their prayers.
We as authors, writers, reader and ultimately Christians are to express our love, gratitude and worship to God in prayer without worrying too much about having just the right words to say. God is more interested in the contents of our hearts than in the eloquence of our words. The proper way to pray is to approach God with sincerity, humility, reverence and without anxiety. We are to pour our hearts to Him open seeking to know Him and knowing that he knows us more than we know ourselves. We present our requests to God, keeping in mind that God knows what is best and that He will not grant us a request that is not in line with His will.
With that we can all now approach God in prayer as we conclude this session with gratitude and thanks giving, asking Him to continue to strengthen us in Prayer.