October 3, 2016

What Is Prayer? - DAY THREE of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!


Here we are on Day Three and I realized maybe an actual definition of Prayer may be helpful.

It seems a little silly but that is because it is such second-nature for me now -but it didn't start out that way!

You see, I didn't grow up as a church goer and religion was not ever something I entertained.  The only faint memories of prayer as a child was when distant relatives would come to visit and offer to tuck us in and pray over us kids. I don't recall the prayers, but I do recall it felt awkward --like I was listening in on a private conversation that I could only hear one side of.


Maybe you felt that way too, as a child.
Heck... maybe you feel that way now!

Maybe your traditional/denominational/theological background leans towards prayers that are simply recited... memorized... or lists of requests that are to be checked off once prayed over.

("Not that there's anything wrong with that!")

But maybe, since you will be spending this month with me talking about life and the realness of how it comes for us... and how we face it head on with prayer --maybe it would be good to define prayer.

Officially, Websters definition of prayer reads like this:
  1. :  an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought 
  1. :  a set order of words used in praying
  1. :  an earnest request or wish
  2. :  the act or practice of praying to God or a god 

  3. :  a religious service consisting chiefly of prayers —often used in plural
For me, Prayer is simply an ongoing conversation that I have with God! 

It never truly ends. We just sort of pick up where we left off.

The Bible tells us to 'pray without ceasing' and at first glance, that may seem hard... impossible, even!  

But when we approach prayer as a way to communicate what is happening in our life, in our family, in our heart, with a friend --well, you know how it is with friends that you have known for a long time! You sort of finish each others' sentences and you know what they are saying before they even speak, just by how they take a breath or tilt their head... by the tone in their voice or the look in their eyes.  

God has known us for a long time... (read: since before the beginning of time!) and He knows what we need, what we feel, what we want... He could just go ahead and rain down the answers. But what He is after more than anything else is relationship! 

He is after your heart!

He wants to be your friend... your brother... your good, good Father.  He is your God, yes! And while that demands a bit of awestruck wonder and a little fear and respect --we must not forget that we are in the New Covenant now and what God is is Love... and the new commandment is love... and what better way to love and grow our relationship than to carry on an ongoing conversation?

I'm not talking hours on your knees or constantly bowing your head and closing your eyes. Sure - there are those times when He calls you to pray like that.

But in general, I believe God just loves to hear your voice!  


He loves to hear your heart... your concerns... He longs to have you talk with Him like you talk with your friends!

He actually loves your sense of humor! (He gave it to you, after all!) He loves to hear you laugh and He gets righteously (for REAL) indignant on your behalf when you are sad or lonely or scared. 

So please know that when I say 'prayer' in this series, I am talking about simply opening up and starting (or continuing!) a conversation with God about whatever is on your mind!

Years ago I remember Him whispering to me, "If it concerns you, it concerns Me!"

Jesus says that He calls us friends... and what kind of friendship is it if only one person does all the talking, and one person does all the listening and there is never any give and take. Our God is generous... not greedy! He is a Giver... and He longs to listen to your heart and hear about your day.  

Let Him give you peace, and joy, and answers to prayers... let Him give you assurance that David was right... Over and over in the book of psalms, David talks of praying.

I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.                                                                 ~Psalm 116:1-2
And speaking of Psalms... (You see what I did there?)

Come back tomorrow as we purpose to be Praying through the Psalms on Tuesdays this month! It's going to be good!



I'm also linking up with the lovely writer community linked below:

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 

 Today is Day Three of 31 Days of Life Happens...and so We Pray! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

What about you? What kind of image is conjured up in your mind when you hear the word, "Prayer"? How would you define it? I'd love to hear!

10 comments :

  1. This was really encouraging. "If it concerns you, it concerns me" I need to remember that!

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    1. Right? I mean... of course... but we just forget! ;)

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  2. I completely agree with your definition of prayer - ongoing conversation. So good! Keep it up.

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  3. LOVE! I pray all the time and it made my heart happy to hear how much God is happy and wants me to do it. Even my sense of humor is important! Thank you!

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    1. Don't you love that reminder? Of course our sense of humor is important and brings Him joy! He's the one who gave it to us! xoxo

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  4. So this hit me today as I was reading your post,. Prayer is like a Voxer message....a continual conversation that never truly ends. Sometimes it takes time for a response but it always comes. And as a giver, I love love that our God is a giver too. Excited for the Psalms tomorrow. Love you friend!

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    1. Aw... well now, you know how I love me some Voxer messages! Great analogy!
      Loved your post today too, friend!

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  5. Life happens . . . yes, a great 31 days topic. I hope you enjoy it! I've been finding rest in silent prayer lately, trusting that God is molding me in ways beyond my comprehension. Thanks for linking, Karrilee.

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    1. Ah yes! Silent prayer... I practiced a bit of that at the beach last weekend myself! So deep... so good! Thanks for stopping by, Kelly!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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