What is Prayer?

What is Prayer?

As a child, I was taught that prayer was talking to God. That is a concise definition and offers an excellent child-appropriate primer on prayer.

Later, I was provided with an expanded explanation, that prayer was one-way communication from us to God, with the Bible offering God’s communication back to us. For many people that succinctly sums up how they and God communicate.

While that is true, it is also limiting. A better understanding is that prayer is talking with God.

Often, the best prayer is just sitting aware of his presence without saying or doing anything. Click To Tweet

I experience prayer as two-way communication between God and me. Sometimes I talk; sometimes I listen; sometimes I ask and usually he answers; sometimes I just sit, aware of his presence, but not needing to say or do anything—that is often the best prayer.

Sometimes my prayers are audible, sometimes they are silent, sometimes they are written out, and other times they are merely the groaning of my heart.

I suspect that there is even more to prayer than all this—and my hope is that as I pursue God, I will discover a still deeper and expanded form of prayer.

What I do know is that the creator of the universe and savior of humanity wants to hear from me—and from you.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of manmade traditions and practices. Read more in his blog, books, and personal weekly email updates.

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