“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). What important principles does this text teach us in regard to what is required for prayer and what it means to us? 1
In a sense, prayer is a way of coming to God, of opening oneself up to Him. We don’t pray so that God will know the things that we need. After all, Jesus Himself said, in the context of prayer, that “your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:8, NKJV). We pray because prayer is a way of exercising our faith in God. It’s a means of making our faith stronger, more real, and practical. Who hasn’t experienced how fervent, unwavering prayer, offered with a sense of dependence and need, has increased one’s faith and deepened one’s relationship with God?
Prayer is a way of helping empty self of self. It’s a way to die daily. It’s a way to reconnect with God on a very personal level. It’s a way to remind yourself that you are not your own, that you have been bought with a price, and that left to yourself you would crumble and die in a world full of powers and forces that could, in an instant, trample you into the dirt.
To a great degree, every prayer is an act of faith. Who can see their prayers extend to heaven? Who can see God receive them? Often we pray without seeing immediate results, yet, we go on faith that God hears and will answer in the best way possible. Prayer is an act of faith in which we reach out beyond what we see or feel or even fully understand.
How much of your prayer life is rote and static, as opposed to deep and heartfelt? How can you move away from the former toward the latter?