Prayer: What Is It?

By Unknown


1. To learn that prayer is communication with God that involves:

1.) Talking to God
2) Listening to God
2. To learn that prayer is a privilege
3. To learn that prayerlessness is a sin

I. What is prayer?

A. Communication with God

1. Talking to our Creator

a. A deeply felt need to speak to the One who is our Father

1) Must form an ever-deepening relationship with Him

a) He delights in answering our prayers as long as we are living a life that is pleasing in His sight (I John 3:22)

b. Prayer is not meant to be a monologue

1) One person doing all the talking

a) This is rude!

b) This makes the One who is listening uncomfortable

2. Listening to God

a. Moses heard God’s actual voice

1) Exodus 33:9

2) Leviticus 1:1

b. Most hear God through a still small voice (I Kings 19:11-12)

1) Gentle impressions that do not go against His written Word

a) Spiritual receptivity must be cultivated (Rev. 3:20)

b) Be still–know He is God (Psalm 46:10)

c) Through reading and meditating upon His Word in prayer

3. Lifting the mind and heart to God

a) “Prayer is the Christian’s ladder by which he can climb into the presence of the Lord.” John H. Dearing

1) Since God is a Spirit and we live in a different realm, prayer is our link between His dimension and our
dimension (James 4:8a)

4. Becoming aware of the nearness of God

a) It is a thrill to know the presence of the Lord!

b) He is not a God who is afar off, beyond the Milky Way and unreachable (Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 50:8; Jeremiah                23:23; Acts 17:27)

1) Not only does He fill the universe, He abides in our hearts when we obey the plan of salvation

a) Acts 2:38

b) Romans 12:1; Hebrews 12:14; I Peter 1:16

5. Consulting God and including God in our day-to-day lives and plans

a. Adam and Eve in the garden

b. Enoch

B. A God-given privilege

1. Not drudgery–it’s exciting!

a. Example of an exciting “prayer event” (I Kings 18:37-38)

2. Not a “Christian duty” but a means “to receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24)

3. In the Old Testament, only a limited number of people were allowed into the presence of God

a. Great veil that separated all but one person from the Holy of Holies

4. The death of the precious Lamb of God has given, to all who desire it, access into God’s presence through prayer

a. The veil was rent in the temple to allow all into the Holy of Holies

C. A necessity

1. Prayer is vital to our spiritual existence (Amos 5:4; Hosea 10:12; Jude 20)

2. Prayer is one of the most important functions of the church

a) If asked, some would say they would like the position of preacher, song leader, choir director or that of                            another highly visible figure; but the position of “prayer warrior” is one of great importance

3. Prayerlessness is a sin

a) Samuel told Israel, “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you” (I Samuel                          12:23)

b) Prayer is not optional for the Christian

1) Jesus said, “When ye pray” not “If you pray” (Matthew 6:5-9)

c) It damages the work of God in churches and homes

1) Empty altars

2) Undisturbed baptismal tanks

3) Barren, unfruitful, carnal and condemnation-laden saints

4) Lost children

II. Prayer is not

A. Magic

1. Pagans thought that they could control their gods by performing rituals (I Kings 18:28) and repeating incantations (I Kings 18:26, 29; Matthew 6:7)

a. In the same vein of thought, prayer is not to be thought of by the Christian as a time of giving orders to God from his/her personal “want list” to control his/her world. God is not a “genie” in a bottle.

B. Owed to the unsaved person

1. God has not obligated Himself to hear or answer all the prayers of sinners other than a prayer of repentance; but, because of His goodness and mercy, He has honored the faith of the unsaved when they prayed

III. Summary

A. To know

1. Every human being has an inborn need to communicate with his Creator

2. Prayer is our means of communicating with God

3. Prayer is talking to God, our Friend

4. Prayer is listening to God through gentle impressions that do not contradict the Word of God and by reading and meditating upon His Word while in prayer

5. Prayer is a privilege

6. Prayerlessness is a sin

B. To feel

1. Each individual’s need to communicate with their Creator, Jesus Christ, can be satisfied by taking advantage of the privilege of prayer daily

C. To do

1. Begin talking and listening to your Friend today!


“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24


Dearing, John H. Pentecostal Home Study Course. Hazelwood, MO,: Pentecostal Publishing House Holman, Denzil Conquest through Prayer. Hazelwood, MO,: Word Aflame Press, 1988.