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What Is Prayer? (Philippians 1:4)

Introductory Thoughts

Simply stated, prayer is talking to God. Most Christians think of prayer as simply asking and receiving from God, but the Bible points out that prayer also involves the making of requests. Both Philippians 1:4 and Philippians 4:6 mention making requests. Yet, considering the whole counsel of God indicates that prayer is not merely asking and receiving nor is it simply limited to making requests. This is why the Lord taught that prayer should include a time of praise. When asked by His disciples how they should pray, the Lord began by speaking of the greatness of the Father’s name (Matthew 6:9). Prayer often includes a time when requests are made and praise occurs. Yet, the overall purpose of prayer involves portraying the greatness of God while testifying to man’s inherent frailties.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When we come to God in prayer, we are letting Him know that we depend upon Him for all things, whether we need forgiveness for wrongdoing, help in time of trouble, healing when we or others are sick, etc. Our prayer should include praise for Him for He alone has every answer and the ability to answer every prayer (Psalm 86:7-8, 10).
  • (For everyone): Why is it dangerous for a believer to think of prayer as merely a time of asking or making of requests? Would you find joy in others who selfishly asked for something every time you saw them?
  • Why should we insure a time of praising God during our prayer time? What can we do to insure that our praise of the Lord is without dissimulation (Romans 12:9)?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help your times of prayer to be acceptable to Him.
  • Ask the Lord to teach you more about prayer.