What is Prayer?
Prayer is a discipline but far more than that, prayer is discipleship. It is the way the disciple and the Master are connected. Discipleship is communion with the Master. He speaks to us in His Word, we speak to Him, and He speaks to us in our prayer with Him.
Prayer is knowing God and hearing Him speak. Sometimes prayer is a quiet time of openness and reflection and listening. It is the time that His Spirit in us speaks to and through us. It is the natural breathing in of the celestial air of Heaven.
Obedience to the sensitive Spirit of God is so vital. Do not quiet His voice in your heart. We cannot afford to quiet his voice and risk the loss of fellowship. That would offend and break the heart of God and leave us with nowhere to turn.
In testing and temptation, the power of God is close and available through prayer. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the power to resist any and all onslaughts of Satan. Satan’s deception is no match for the Spirit of truth. That has been my experience over and over again.
Prayer is immersion in God’s heart. We become one with Him in spiritual heart communion. Fellowship with Him is through His Spirit and binds and bonds our hearts together.
Prayer in My Life
At eleven years of age, on a public school playground my eyes got their first view of pornography. A voice spoke clearly to me at that moment: ‘Frank, stay away from this kind of influence. It is not for you.’ I heard and obeyed, walked away and have never looked back. Did the Holy Spirit speak to me at 11 years of age? I know that He did.
Like His Son Jesus here on earth, I commune with Him daily through joy and pain and in seeking direction and confirmation for life decisions. Confidence in communion is precious and irreplaceable each moment of each day and night.
Prayer fits so well with my empathic spirit. I feel God close and I feel close to Him. I never doubt His care even though many times my will has to submit to His perfect will. Along with empathy, He has given me a very powerful drive for truth and justice. To channel that through His heart has made life livable.
Prayers to Pattern
Nehemiah has formed my sense of prayer. Moment by moment pauses in prayer and one long prayer formed my concept of prayer for a godly man. Nehemiah had so many challenges and he was never far from the Father in those challenges. He had courage and strength and security that he was working out the will of God as he continued the revival to which he was called.
The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ in Matthew has been a stay and harbor for me many nights. Sometimes it takes me ten or twenty minutes to pray that prayer. To savor each word and concept, knowing that I am imitating Jesus in the garden has more peace and comfort than any earthly joy. Many times I fall asleep at sometime during that meditation. In the morning I awake to the peace of remembering the comfort of those words and how they must have comforted the Master. The first part of the prayer exalting God for His person and His holiness and the greatness of His Kingdom is so powerful.
Another prayer that has blessed me is the twenty-third Psalm. The precious words of David in that Psalm exactly match the needs of my heart so many times and they have brought sleep to my anxious heart and mind. Praying Scripture is honoring to Father. They are His words and when we love them we love Him.
John seventeen is the most beautiful prayer. It must be my prayer also. I accept the attitude of God the Son as He submits totally to His Father. No reserve, no turning back – this is the price that must be paid for the glory to come when everything is restored to the primacy of the creation. Redemption is greater than innocence. Submission is power.
Joy is another type of prayer. Joy for knowing God and being His child. Joy for the future when all pain will be past. Joy for just knowing God and knowing His plan instead of making my rules for life trump His. My life must conform to the Biblical, Holy Spirit directed guidance that is offered to me as a child of the Heavenly Father.
The Spirit Speaking for Us
The most impressive part of prayer is that I cannot really pray. It is the Holy Spirit in my heart that prays for me – takes my heart and presents it to the Father in terms that I cannot understand. The Spirit speaks to God for me and speaks to me for God. That is prayer. Prayer is not a segregated discipline. It is the breath of the disciple engaging the Master.
When there is someone in your life who you love so much that you just want to be with that person you never tire of their presence and their conversation. So it is to be with God and His children. In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.
It is somewhat difficult to allow others into this private place in my life. Personal prayer is such an intimate experience that it feels almost like to speak of it reduces it to an academic exercise. Prayer is as natural as breathing – inhaling and exhaling – to use a bodily illustration. Prayer is a Spiritual life in communication with the Spiritual source producing Spiritual health and security beyond any earthly experience. In conjunction with Scripture, it is the essence of being a child of the King.
|Frank Reed is a seventy-one year old farmer/teacher from Manheim, PA. He and Lois have three daughters and two sons. They have seventeen grandchildren. Many of their years have been invested in studying and teaching in various aspects of Mennonite education. Their family enjoys reading and being together as a family as time and distance permits. Church History and Mennonite History have been some of their favorite studies. Interacting with youth in schools has been a rewarding way of life for them.|