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Author Topic: What is prayer all about?  (Read 8570 times)

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space.ace.jase

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What is prayer all about?
« on: August 05, 2012, 12:15:25 AM »

Hi BT family,

Just wanted to post a thread asking for some wisdom on what prayer is all about to get some more understanding on this matter.

First this is basically my understanding of prayer (Thanks for Rays paper on prayer - http://bible-truths.com/praying.htm):

  • "God has never ever answered a prayer that WASN'T FIRST PRAYED!" (Quote from Ray)
  • We should pray asking his will be done
  • Prayer should be in private
  • God is sovereign, we never change his mind

From one email that Ray answers he says:

"But we don't know what a new day will bring, and so we pray.  Many if not most of God's ways seem strange to we humans.  We are not yet on His level of wisdom and spirituality.  God wants to hear from us.  God wants His children to talk to Him about all their needs and desires.  God wants to hear us thank Him for all He has given us."

"If God has determined to heal or bless someone because you or someone else prayed for it, then you will HAVE to pray that prayer in order for God to answer it, and therefore, prayer is never in vain unless we are not praying according to God's rules."


I guess my question is why? Why is it only by prayer that God does these things? Should I be praying for each person individually or can I pray "Father please help everyone"? Is this wrong? I have had more and more people asking me to pray for them but should be I spending the time to pray for each and every person? I guess my question is not asking whether or not prayer is pointless (it's not pointless) but rather why does God use prayer from us and others to do his will? Is it to humble us in that we have to pray because we are so dependent on God? Don't get my wrong I LOVE talking to God (the only one who knows me through and through) but I guess the idea that if I don't pray for other people God may not do it seems strange?

I hope my questions are not too blunt or offensive but I am truly trying to come to a greater understanding on prayer.

Thank you,
Jase
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newgene87

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 01:03:58 AM »

Great post. I will take a stab at it and I pray it uplifts you. Prayer is a form of a worship. Actually worship (proskuneō) and to pray (proseuchomai) are close related words in the greek, that to pray is worship and to worship is to pray. Seeing that even Jesus said God's House to be a house of PRAYER (Mat 21:13) - prayer and worship are close. While here on earth, we are earthy, in flesh and God is spirit: and the only PLACE and HOW to worship Him is IN SPIRIT and in TRUTH (John 4:24). Why prayer?? well, why worship? Why adore God and express we love Him? I mean we already cant see him, its tough enough we're surrounded by carnal materials, beautiful sights to the eyes, lustful cravings; in this calling, I NEED to stay connected to Him, that he'll keep me in perfect peace. Prayer is truly ONE of the main ways, if not the only way. and as far as praying for other people? well, that's where Love comes in. Love is "Fruit of the spirit" (Gal 5:22) as well as gentleness and goodness. If you're led of the spirit, your love for the well being of that person just cross over to your PRAYER FOR that person and for their wellbeing. They may not know God on your level, and since we are to be disciples of Christ, indwelling of His mighty Spirit, anointed with His glory; prayer for someone, or better yet, Worship TOWARDS God for someone is to me; the definition of Love. Let's see..... if my dad had ALL i needed for me and my many many brothers and sisters, i mean, EVERYTHING we needed; but we had to go to Him for anything. And my lost brother asks me to "pray for him" or ask dad for him to bless him with something --- where i am in maturity; for my LOVE FOR HIM, i would cry to my dad to help him. CAUSE I KNOW HE CAN. Whether He will, that's a different case. But the fact we express Love for that person (in words and a plea), our affection will be heard. Same case; God knows ALL in ALL about ALL of ALL. But we are weak creatures, natural fleshly creatures that cannot discern things of the spirit. As we pray or worship IN spirit, we intercede on peoples behalf. I see prayer being very important. Seeing that worship is just as important. After all of that.

"Let brotherly love continue" (Hebrews 13:1)

and

"... it BEHOVES, IT IS NECESSARY and BINDING always to pray" (Luke 18:1)

Eugene
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 02:21:11 AM »

Not too blunt and not offensive.  We've got to work through these things.  I'm only part-way there, but here's a thought.

"I guess the idea that if I don't pray for other people God may not do it seems strange?"

God both knows and does His will.  Your prayer is NOT outside His will.  Everything is caused, no doubt.  The effect of the cause is ALSO part of the cause of the next effect.  When we are led, asked, agree to, are caused in any way to pray then God answers.  We're not "changing His mind" when we pray because He already knows the need and the answer.  But part of the need and the answer is for us to pray.

So pray.  And learn to pray according to the rules He set down.  The first blessing is for you, though it may not be the one you are expecting. 

Is that what you meant by 'seems strange'?

If God is working in you to both to will and to do His good pleasure (and don't worry--He IS) then you will pray every time He wants you to pray.  He's got His own reasons for doing things the way He does.  This world is way too complicated for us to figure out where every strand comes from and is going to.

So pray.


   
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 04:26:38 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Ian 155

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 02:11:49 PM »

I have also seen it this way, God by his spirit may inspire you to pray for someone you know nothing about,but with groaning the spirit prays thru you ... Never understood that scripture too well,

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.


PRAY WITHOUT CEASING...
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space.ace.jase

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 08:30:14 PM »

Eugene- I guess I hadn't really seen that before, prayer as a form of worship. Thank you for the reply I will keep reading with this in mind.

Dave- sorry my questions were pretty vague I guess my real question is why does God inspire me to pray for others to then do what he has planned in the life of others. I mean I'm just a sinful beast why me I cant do anything right. Guess I'm trying to understand the mind of God a little more ... Which is pretty silly (his ways are higher than our ways). Thanks Dave I'm slowly getting there I think.. I hope  :D

Ian- yes It is kind of baffling isn't it.. That we do not know what to pray for (that we do not know what must be)

Thanks guys I'll spend some more time asking God for his understanding on this!

God bless,
Jase
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Gina

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 09:48:18 PM »

I don't know if this thread is finished but I've been following it, just haven't known what to say till now:

What's prayer all about?

First -- at it's core prayer is that inner dialogue that streams through your head all day everyday. 

Prayer is NOT always petitioning God.

Sometimes prayer is simply thanking God.

I'm not an expert on prayer but I know this:  Whatever is on our mind at any given moment -- that's like a prayer.  It's that inner dialogue that's constantly streaming through my head all day and sometimes all night.  There are times when I'm making a conscious effort to direct my thoughts and petitions to God.

This next scripture verse always makes me laugh a little because I wind up with this stereotypical mental image of a Buddhist "monk" chanting prayer, or the person speaking in "tongues"; when in reality it's me pacing the proverbial floor when I'm upset or nervous about something talking to God and begging Him for what *I* want, over and over and over again.  It's something I'm still working on.

Matt: 6:7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

And if the people coming to me with prayer requests are expecting me to be all tied in knots and in God's face 24/7 until they get what they want, boy oh boy have I got news for you.

For me it's not getting down on my literal knees and all tied up in knots.

Sometimes it does feel like a burden to be asked by lots of people to pray for them.  So, first I get totally honest with God and say, Guess what?  I really feel overwhelmed by their problem-Thy will be done.  And sometimes I'll say, Guess what, God?  I'm not really feeling it-Thy will be done.  (Sometimes I'm angry with the subject of the prayer--like those people who persecute and make life a living hell for us sometimes?  I know I'm suppose to pray for them, and I just can't.  So first I talk to God about how I don't want to pray for them and sometimes I ask others to pray for them. 

There are times when I'm in an actual conversation with God and all but most of the time it's a quick - Thy will be done.  Please comfort this person because mentally and emotionally I personally am not able to go there.  And God understands my weakness.  \

Here's a great prayer that I pray for myself when I'm in a bind and I'm learning to say it for others too: "God, I thank You in advance for what You're about to do in this person's life." 

Then I go on with my usual inner dialogue.  And God makes me more and more aware of His presence.  It's comforting.

:)


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space.ace.jase

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 11:30:27 PM »

Hi Gina,

I hope this thread isn't over  :P I'd still love to hear from anyone else.

I think I've gotten to the point of praying the same thing over and over and it feels a bit impersonal I guess "Father please do this if it be your will, father please do that if it be your will", and with more people asking for prayer which I have no problem doing I have actually written up a list of people to pray for :-[  It just seems so silly so I want to go back to the scripture and look at what God says about prayer.

Parable of the Persistent Widow

1One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2“There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

6Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”


I am reading Luke 18 which is where this verse is from and I guess I have given up in a way. Then in verse 17 Jesus says "I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Maybe I'm just making this far too complicated than it should be-- keep it simple like a child would I guess. Actually I was searching the forum yesterday and I found this thread (http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,4979.msg38870.htm). I laughed at the part "Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there?

Anyway I think I'm making some kind of progress .. like Dave said if God wants me to pray for something he will cause me to pray.

Thanks everyone,
Jase
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Kat

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 12:06:44 AM »


Hi Jase,

Quote
I guess my real question is why does God inspire me to pray for others to then do what he has planned in the life of others. I mean I'm just a sinful beast why me I cant do anything right.


Your question brings up an important point. Yes God is sovereign and in ultimate control of all things, but He works through His chosen and Jesus said we should "love your neighbor as yourself."

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
v. 31  The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

But if God has everything already planned out and as you say, "I'm just a sinful beast why me I cant do anything right"? That's true for all of us, but God is teaching us how to care for others as much as we do for ourselves. Now one way that we all can show love and concern for others is to seek God on their behave in prayer. Giving a few mins of our time in prayer is the least we can do for another, as it requires nothing physical but our time and concern.

So if we are the elect and will one day reign with Christ... we are now being made into the image of God, so we too must learn to love others, as God loves all His creatures. Praying for someone is one way we are learning to love others.

John 3:16 For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian."

mercy, peace and love
Kat

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Dave in Tenn

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 12:58:32 AM »

"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by THE FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING to save them that believe" (I Cor. 12:1).

I don't mean to play fast and loose with scripture, but I think there is spiritual agreement here.  Doesn't it please God by the obedience of praying to answer?

And don't confuse 'cause' with 'force'.  Though He is not averse to using force, often the 'cause' is much, much more gentle.

While it's true that you will pray when He causes it, it's just as true that when you pray, He caused it.  So pray.  Don't try to figure it (God's will) out, just don't take credit for it.   ;D

Do good.     
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 02:10:18 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Gina

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 01:08:37 AM »

Yeah, Dave's right - No use in worrying about praying.

What Kat said has me thinking of Martha and Mary the sisters of Lazarus who was sick to the point of death, they sent for Jesus and this is what He does:
 
John 11

3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.


And then we all know how the story ends and Lazarus is raised from the dead. 

But it's interesting in how it parallels what you said about how God inspires you to pray for certain people only for them to go on to do the thing that was God's will for their lives. 

And I truthfully consider Martha and Mary's sending for Jesus to heal Lazarus a prayer request in the flesh. :)  Right?   ;D

And so many times we send for Jesus and then He delays only for us to see things not turn out the way we'd hoped.

That may not help, so I'll ask that God bind any further spirits of confusion so you can have rest from your dilemma and a complete understanding of the purpose of prayer.

God bless you, Space.   


« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 01:16:41 AM by Gina »
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Ian 155

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 05:34:35 AM »

"It's that inner dialogue that's constantly streaming through my head all day and sometimes all night".

Gina,

Now there's something  - "fits in with groanings" "I" never pray with groanings but somtimes say lying in bed, my thoughts, I am completly broken up, not neccesary groaning outwardly but inside ,in a big "heap" weeping and wailing so much so that if i get up i relise i'm actualy crying finding my face is all wet as is my pillow...like in a semi dream but awake .
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Gina

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 01:13:44 PM »

 :'(    Yes, I can relate to that.

Heb 5:7  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

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the truth

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 03:15:47 PM »

Hello,


»



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many of your teachings series are confusing and in conflict within.  For example the one referenced above clearly underscores our Almighty God's pre-existing plans for all which is to be.  However, you  than offer suggestions which infer that what you they will somehow change results and relationship with Him!
 
Thinks for your labor of love and testimony.  There is no reason for you to respond and I do not expect you to do so.
 
Best Wishes in Christ Jesus,
Hobe
 

Dear Hobe:  You are not paying close attention to what I have written, and you have not studied such important papers of mine such as "The Myth of Free Will Exposed."  Don't feel bad, however, as hardly anyone can comprehend this teaching. Let me make it as simple as I can. God already knows and has declared the "END FROM THE BEGINNING" (Isa. 46:10). Therefore nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can ever change from what God ALWAYS KNEW WILL BE.
 
Now hold that Scriptural thought and don't ever let it go!  Next comes the more difficult part for most to believe and understand.
 
Things that God knows WILL HAPPEN, don't JUST happen without His sovereign direction.  Therefore, some things would never happen unless you PRAY for them.  Ah, but that is where I lost you and most others as well.  I repeat:  Some things would never happen unless you PRAY for them to happen.  Does that mean that if you had NOT PRAYED for them they would NOT have happened. Exactly. Isn't that what I just said?  Well then, just how can God KNOW what will happen if you DON'T pray for something to happen that He knows MUST HAPPEN?  Whether it happens or doesn't happen in this case all hinges on WHETHER YOU PRAY FOR IT OR NOT.  So how can God know FOR SURE?  If God WANTS something to happen through a prayer of yours, and God KNOWS that something will happen IF YOU PRAY for it, guess what?
GOD WILL SEE TO IT THAT  Y-O-U  D-O  P-R-A-Y  F-O-R  I-T!  And this is exactly what God teaches in the Scriptures. Now can you see and understand it?
 
Here's another example:

1Co 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

Now then, FOUR things need to happen for this Scripture to come true.

1. People must "believe."

2. Therefore God must give these people "faith."

3. They must hear the needed preaching.

4. God must provide for "the foolishness of preaching" through people like me.

Hope you understand.

God be with you,

Ray
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 03:18:36 PM by the truth »
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lauriellen

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 05:07:14 PM »

I have often wondered about this verse reguarding prayer:
Joh 17:9  I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.

I too struggle with prayer.....i have become very discouraged at times and resolved to ONLY pray "thy will be done"...
(i suspect because i am inwardly angry and don't approve of the way God is working all things out....a bad attitude
that i must often repent of)
but then i can't contain myself and spill my heart out to God for all that i 'wish' could be.....and then end with 'not
my will but Thy will be done.'  ;)
It IS humbling to have to ask for EVERYTHING....but acknowleding that God REALLY is in control of every little detail
of every life is also part of the process i think...
I am also learning to NOT pray the 'save' myself or others from the trial, but to give the strength to ENDURE whatever
He has determined must be.
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the truth

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2012, 10:08:34 PM »

hello.lauriellen...This may help you!.......I have often wondered about this verse reguarding




Church?

« on: April 05, 2006, 10:11:52 AM »



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

babylon is the world system, education, religion and ecconomic.

education: lies with in them, you know what they are! evolution, etc.
religoun: eternal tormant and all the rest of false doctrines every religion has them, Christ in you is our religion.

economic: get rich brings happiness,,etc.

everyone of these mixes truth with lies.

((((chosen out of the world))))) not the "church'

overcome the world not overcome the church.

if Christ is in you!!! he overcame it Wink

Jhn 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jhn 14:17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

1Jo 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world

Jhn 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have (((((((chosen you out of the world)))))), therefore the world hateth you.

there is plenty more Wink
peace
chuckt


Dear Chuck:

Wrong.  The "world" IS the Church, first and foremost. Secondarily it is the global world of nations and politics.

When Jesus said that He overcame "the world," certainly both aspects are covered (John16:33).  A few verses later when Jesus said: "While I was with them in the WORLD, I kept them in Your Name..." (John 17:12), He is speaking of the religion of the Jews--the church.  Jesus was not with the disciples in China or Russia, but in Judea which was religious to the core. EVERYONE was religious. ALL Jews of Judea were followers of Moses in some form or fashion.

"They are not of the WORLD [the religion of their own people in their own country Judea], even as I was not of the world...As You have sent Me into the world [not the nations, not the politics of Rome, etc.], EVEN SO [in the very same way] I also sent them into the world [the original apostles did not take the gospel to the Gentiles of the world]" (Verse 16 & 18).

Verse 24: "...for You loved Me before the foundation of the world [here again is the broader sense of the whole "kosmos" which involved the entire social order of mankind.

So, Yes, the word world in Scripture has the specific meaning of the Church or the Religion of the day.

God be with you,

Ray
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Foxx

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2012, 11:03:12 PM »

I may be wrong but I think the results of prayer are contengent on our faith. That is to say we pray because we believe and God is the one who drags us to him I'm order that we my believe. He knows what we will pray for and has already determined what he will do beforehand. I believe there is a circular nature to spirituality that God has put d created things with such confidence and foresight. One thing reinforces the other so therefore it must happen in such and such a manner. Our ability to pray comes from him enabling us to pray correctly so it's axiomatic that the prayer is answered.
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John from Kentucky

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 01:15:10 AM »

All prayer is answered.  It's just not answered the way we want.

Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering would be taken from Him.  The Father's answer was no.

When I understood that Jesus' request was turned down, I knew I was screwed.  If He told Jesus no, I knew He wouldn't hesitate to tell me NO.

So now, all my prayers are Your (The Father) Will Be Done because I do not know my coming out or going in.  So now all my prayers are answered; I have a 100% success rate.
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newgene87

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2012, 01:31:37 AM »

All prayer is answered.  It's just not answered the way we want.

Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering would be taken from Him.  The Father's answer was no.

When I understood that Jesus' request was turned down, I knew I was screwed.  If He told Jesus no, I knew He wouldn't hesitate to tell me NO.

So now, all my prayers are Your (The Father) Will Be Done because I do not know my coming out or going in.  So now all my prayers are answered; I have a 100% success rate.

well just to comment on this, with the words of ray....

"There are many cliches regarding prayer, and some are absolutely true. It is said that God has one of three answers for all prayers: "Yes, No, or Later." This is basically, albeit not totally true. This one might be closer to the truth: "Your way, My way, or No way."

so, what you did remind me of is that ALL prayers are answered. But the Father's answer to Jesus wasnt exactly no; it was firmly, "HIS WAY" or His will. So i take from that, God doesnt say "no" to my prayers but simply, he's going to work it through and to me HIS WAY. Or simply, i will succomb to my carnal ways and follow my ways. And as scripture states, " There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Pro 14:12). So either God's way, in His timing or in season; or our way, ways of death, sin, and carnality, works of the flesh; or simply no way. But like you said, ALL PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED. amen to that.

Eugene

« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 01:40:36 AM by newgene87 »
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Gina

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2012, 02:32:26 AM »

The more people I come into contact with -- and I don't even have to be talking with them or even know them -- I'm finding that I have no problem praying without ceasing.

There was this lady who was sitting at the gas station waiting for her car to be repaired and I looked at her sitting there and she didn't look like she was made of money and even though her repairs might not have been anything serious -- maybe she was just getting an oil change -- I looked at her and just said a little prayer that the mechanic would be good to her and not overcharge her or take advantage of her. 

Ray told me once in an email response that whenever he would see or hear ambulances going down the road he'd say a prayer.  I thought that was pretty cool.   More and more I do stuff like that when I'm out and stuff. 

Even here on line at the forum I'm finding there are many times that I can pray for someone and they don't even have to ask. 

But again, it's mostly just me thinking over the situation as I see it and then saying "thy will be done" but I try to imagine that "His will" is the best possible outcome, even if it doesn't immediately put a smile on everybody's faces.  You know what I'm saying?
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Gina

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Re: What is prayer all about?
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2012, 02:44:49 AM »

All prayer is answered.  It's just not answered the way we want.

Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering would be taken from Him.  The Father's answer was no.

When I understood that Jesus' request was turned down, I knew I was screwed.  If He told Jesus no, I knew He wouldn't hesitate to tell me NO.

So now, all my prayers are Your (The Father) Will Be Done because I do not know my coming out or going in.  So now all my prayers are answered; I have a 100% success rate.

Precisely!
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