What is prayer?
Prayer simply means talking and listening to God.
We teach our children as young as three years old to bow their heads, close their eyes, fold their hands together, and pray. There’s no right or wrong way to pray; God always loves to hear from us.
As we mature, our prayers become more complex as we thank and praise God, ask for forgiveness, and petition for something for ourselves or on behalf of someone else.
We can pray aloud or silently. Standing or kneeling. Individually or collectively.
A few years ago I remember sitting in the pews with others at church as our pastor said, “Will you all pray with me?” We bowed our heads and closed our eyes.
The prayer started out like others, graciously giving thanks and praise. As our pastor continued praying, his tone became softer.
His voice almost cracked.
He was speaking from the heart; almost imploring God to remember and bless His creation.
The sanctuary became silent. He took his time with each, genuine word.
I was witnessing an intimate, pure, and holy conversation. The humility and sincerity in his voice was moving.
At that moment, I learned more about my pastor’s faith than any previous conversations I had with him.
Although he has a gift with words, what I heard that morning was faith, and the extent to which it impacts and shapes his character.
When we share our inner most thoughts with God, without hiding behind our masks of insecurity or pride, our soul is exposed. We see ourselves for who we are, and perhaps, who we can become through Christ. It’s a barometer of our faith journey.
Since God is all-knowing, the gift He gives us through prayer is self-realization.
He shines the light on our strengths and weaknesses. We can never hide from the truth when we are walking with God. His truth is revealed in our innocent, honest, and loving communication with Him.
The real silver lining of prayer occurs when we open our hearts to God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal our truths and transform us.
God hears our prayers. He answers them according to His timeline. While we are waiting, He blesses us with the gift of discovery, both in Him and in ourselves.