Monday, June 06, 2011
Thoughts on Prayer
What is prayer for a Christian? There are so many aspects and dimensions of it. Consider a few:
1. Who is the object of prayer? All of or any member of the Trinity.
2. What is the quality of prayer? Humility, faith, claiming promises made in the Bible; singlemindedness, which battles distraction.
3. What are the modes of prayer? praise, adoration, thanksgiving, confession, petition, intercession, lament.
4. What is the frequency of prayer? Pray without ceasing: an attitude of openness and conversation with God. There are also seasons of protracted and often agonizing prayer: prayer as hard, demanding work; prayer as joyful exaltation in the being of God (rare for me)
5. What are the results of prayer (if done well)? A clear conscience (because of confession); a better knowledge of Scripture (because one prays through Scripture, especially the Psalms); answers to prayer which evoke thanksgiving and more faith; unanswered prayer, leading to lament, discouragement, and even despair (see Psalm 88).
6. What are the environments of prayer? In special sessions with others; alone; in the church service; on the go; during times of rest; even in dreams; prayer for special occasions: invocations, benedictions, exhortations.