What Is Prayer?

By Kim Johnson

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” PHILIPPIANS 4:6


Prayer is having a conversation with God. It is the means by which you “seek after God” and develop a relationship with Him. As you know, a conversation can take many different directions. There are short conversations and long conversations; intellectual conversations and brainless conversations; deep, intimate, conversations or lighthearted conversations. There are spiritual conversations and not-so-spiritual conversations. No matter what type of conversation it is, to really get to know a person you have to spend time communicating with that person. Have you ever called a friend and patiently endured several interruptions before you were able to finish your conversation? How much more fruitful would that conversation have been if it had been focused and not interrupted! You may have discovered that the more time you spend with someone the easier it is to communicate with that person. Once honest, heart-to-heart communication begins between two people it can manifest different depths throughout the conversation. For example, in one conversation you can laugh together, cry together, be serious together, dream together, agree and disagree together, and when the conversation is through, you feel that you’ve accomplished something together.

Prayer is the contact point of conversation between us and God. It can take several different directions such as thanksgiving, worship, supplication (humble petition), and intercession. It enables you to get to know each other. I Corinthians I 3:12 says, “But then shall I know even as also I am known.” Could it be that the more you let God into your life and express your heart to Him through prayer, the more God will let you into His life and express His heart to you in prayer?

– Save your soul (Luke 21:36)                                                                                                                                                                – Increase your obedience (Psalm 119; Matthew 7:21)
– Sanctify (purify) your soul (Psalm 17:5; 19:12)
– Sanctify your food and water (I Timothy 4:4-5)
– Make provision for your needs (Matthew 6:33-34)
– Help in the time of trouble (Psalm 34:4-6; Acts 12:5)
– Deliver you from fears (Psalm 34:4)
– Deliver you from your enemies (Psalm 64)
– Help you overcome temptation (Hebrews 4:15-16)
– Bring peace (Philippians 4:6-7)
– Bring success in business (I Chronicles 4:10)
– Bring healing (Psalm 6:2-9; 103:2-3)
– Make you a soul-winner (Psalm 2:8)
– Enable you to do exploits (Daniel 11:32)
– Give you favor in old age (Psalm 71:9)
– Usher in the kingdom of God (Righteousness, Joy, and Peace) (Matthew 6:10)
– Change the course of nations (Daniel 6:11-26)
– Change the course of eternity (Matthew 26:46)

What Will Prayer Do for You?

It will:

– Develop your relationship with God (Job 23:3-5)
– Build your faith (Jude 20)
– Bring direction (Proverbs 3:5-6)
– Give you favor (Luke 2:52; Acts 7:10)                                                                                                                                                – Convict you of sin (Job 13:23; Psalm 139:23-24)
– Renew your spirit (Psalm 51) The Key Ingredient

Whether you’re developing a relationship, preparing a meal, baking a cake, fixing a car, running an errand, or writing an essay, there is one key ingredient needed: time! Getting to know Jesus requires spending time with Him. Spending time with Him develops your ability to communicate with Him. Effective communication requires not only talking but also listening. This ability is acquired by learning how to flow in and with the Spirit of God. Acts 17:28 states, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” John 15:7 says, “/f you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Webster’s Dictionary defines abide as “a state of waiting patiently, enduring without yielding, to accept without objection, or to continue in a place.” You can learn to abide in and communicate with Jesus; it just takes time!

It is important to establish a time and place of prayer. Jesus rose up early every morning to pray. Morning is a good time to commune with the Lord. The early morning hours are generally calm and peaceful, enabling you to pray with minimal distraction. Psalm 5: 3 says, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, 0 LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” And Psalm 55:17 says, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” If you are unable to pray in the mornings, work out an uninterrupted time and place of prayer some other time during the day.

The above article, “What is Prayer” is written by Kim Johnson. The article was excerpted from the second chapter of Johnson’s book Teach us to Fast and Pray.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.