google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Developing Intimacy With God - 10. The Function of Prayer


Developing Intimacy With God

10. The Function of Prayer

The function of prayer, which is the act of communicating and conversing with God, reveals a constant hunger for God’s help. An inner yearning, just as a child yearns for its parent. It is consolidating my desire towards the ultimate goal, of eternal life, joy, worship and knowledge of God – and of being fully known by God. It is also through the Bible that my desire to know God and be known by God, evolves and develops. That is why prayer and Bible reading go hand in hand. Prayer emits my words and thoughts to the God I seek to know, in response to His reaching out to me.

Through prayer, God can comprehend the Christian Disciple, regardless of language, grammar or oratory skill, if the Christian Disciple approaches with a correct attitude. Words, however, are not just to be a mental action but also an emotive act, conveying emotions and feeling. Prayer is a way for me to convey my deep emotions, feelings and expressions to God, regardless of my language skills, or lack thereof. The words spoken in prayer portray my innermost feelings and desires to Him.

This is because God is alive, and what is more, He is personal. He values language and expects His people to talk to Him. If for some reason, I am unable to convey my words in prayer, then Romans 8:26, intimates that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me! WOW! Remember, as a Christian Disciple, the Holy Spirit lives within you and I, seals us as God’s children, unites us as family and He is the Great Comforter and Encourager. How easy it is for me to forget this fact of spiritual life. Prayer epitomises the Father–child relationship, symbolized in my relationship with God. It further symbolizes the freedom and peace in prayer, advocated by Jesus to communicate His deepest desires, as in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) and as we read in John 17. Prayer is not just me talking to God, but also being silent, to allow God to talk to me.

Now a question we all ask at some time or another. I know I have regularly. We ask it, either consciously or even subconsciously: Does God answer all prayers?
Firstly, the answer I expect, may not be the answer I get! Is that your experience of prayer? I know that it is often my experience! So often I pray, expecting one result and I end up getting another completely unexpected result. I then often think that God hasn’t answered my prayer! Sometimes the answer He gives, is ‘Yes’. At other times, it is ‘No’ or ‘Not yet. Wait.’ When I recall that God works outside of my restrictions of time and space, it is a lesson for me to not only learn, but also to remember. A lesson which says that I am to trust His judgement and wisdom. After all, He is God and I am not. I am to acknowledge that He is the Master and I am His servant. Alas, sometimes when I pray, I like to think I am the Master and He is my servant. Is that also your experience?

Why are some prayers unanswered? There are various reasons, I think, that prayers aren’t seemingly answered. It may well be due to things like:

  • unconfessed sin (Psalm 66:18)
  • disobedience (Proverbs 28:9)
  • pride (Luke 18:11–14)
  • doubt (James 1:5–7)
  • selfishness (James 4:3)
  • others not responding to God’s call upon them to be the answer to the prayer
  • no reason, that for now that can possibly be conceived, seen or understand.

    God knows best and I am to acquiesce to His love and His knowledge – despite my tears and tantrums towards Him. He is the Master and I am to be His servant. He is willing to hear my voice. He wants to hear my voice. He wants to hear of my love for Him. I am in a relationship with God, because of God, and I desire to show my love of God and tell Him that I love Him. His desire is to have me serve Him and for Him to lavish His love upon me, in all manner of ways and in all circumstances of life. Is this your experience of God and your life with Him?

Next week we start to look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer as part of our Developing Intimacy With God.

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