What Is Prayer?

Prayer is powerful! I guarantee you’ve heard that before. If you’re like me, though, you’ve probably, at some point, had doubts about that. Have you ever prayed and God didn’t answer the way you wanted? Did you feel like you were talking to no one? Believe me, you aren’t alone. Prayer comes of as one of the most mystical and mysterious things we do in Christianity. Because of that, we tend to be wary of it, or just down right aren’t comfortable with it. If you’ve ever been asked to pray in a group of people, (many of you right now are starting to sweat) you’ve felt that nervousness of praying out loud. It’s something we can’t always put our finger on, but it IS something we’re commanded to do. So we find ourselves in a conundrum.

First off, let me say that you can rest easy on this. Prayer is not something that God judges based on the eloquence of our dialogue. God isn’t sitting back and grading us based on how well we quote scripture throughout our prayers to Him. He’s not even mad when your prayers are short. Genuinely, God wants you to talk to him.

…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6–7

When I pick my kids up from school, I immediately want to hear how their day went: what was good, what was bad, what they learned, etc. I enjoy hearing their stories. I enjoy hearing what they’re learning. My kids know that I am anxiously waiting to hear from them. I just enjoy talking to my kids, and, as a result, my kids and I talk a lot. Are you seeing the correlation here? God, our Father, finds joy in talking with His children. He just wants us to tell him about us: our successes, our failures, our joys, and our sorrows. He also want us to feel free to request things from him. Just like I want to provide for my children, even more so, God wants to provide for us. Many times, all we need to do is ask.

The word “pray” is mentioned 322 times in the Bible (ESV), and there are 650 prayers in the Bible. 25 of those are recorded prayers from Jesus. Prayer is a big part of the history of God’s people, and it’s the one constant that He uses to communicate with us.

So let’s start this year off right and begin intentionally talking with God through prayer. He genuinely wants a relationship with his children, and communication is always needed for a relationship to grow and not go stale.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Th 5:16–18

Are you having a rough day? Pray about it. Are you have a great day? Pray about it. Do you have a big decision to make? Pray about it. Are you just floating around trying to figure out what to do in this life? Pray about it.

As Christians, prayer should be our first move in any situation. When I was young, I would go to my dad to seek wisdom and make the right decision. How awesome is it that our Heavenly Father has ALL wisdom and ALL knowledge? Let’s not just seek Him out daily, but let’s seek Him out continually.

If it’s been a while since you last prayed, take a moment right now and lift up a prayer to God. Even if you’re a more consistent prayer, take a moment right now to pray. Maybe you just need a reintroduction to God and get that relationship back in order. Maybe you need to lift up some pretty heavy stuff right now. Maybe you just want to tell God how awesome HE is. Whatever it is, God is listening intently.

He loves it when His children tell Him all about their day.

It really is that simple.


Daneen Spohr - January 1st, 2024 at 12:44pm

Thanks John,

This confirms my desire to start a prayer journal this year.

I am excited!

John Kelley - January 3rd, 2024 at 11:44am

That's great!

Lori - January 3rd, 2024 at 6:24am

I started a prayer journal over a year ago and it has changed my life! It keeps me accountable in prayer even when I don’t feel like praying! I encourage everyone to start one! Thanks for this!

John Kelley - January 3rd, 2024 at 11:44am

Have you gone back and read old entries. It's amazing to see how God has worked in you over time.