“What is prayer?” This question was posed to me and I couldn’t really define it on the spot. (I really wish that situations like that do not continue in frequency. I want to develop the art of giving purposeful answers when they are required, but nevertheless, i digress.) Now upon further reflection and thought, I have concluded that prayer is a consistent communication with God, an ongoing dialogue. It is the means of life, almost as if inhaling untainted air. It is dialogue with God, speaking to Him about all aspects of life, even the most trivial.
Jesus was quoted as saying “when you pray…”, giving the perception that it is a necessary act. In fact, Jesus Himself prayed on more than a few occasions! Prayer is also the admittance that the individual does not have all the answers. It is not enough to just be thankful. Prayer is about admitting that you are broken and without any resources. It is about declaring your utter bankruptcy. Prayer is bringing my broken will to the feet of God and asking for help, asking for His will to be done, especially within me!
If the message of Christ’s life was the implementation of the Kingdom of God then everyone who claims to be followers of Christ should model their life in that similar fashion. We ought to hold our allegiance to that Kingdom dearly and pray that the Kingdom would come quickly. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Prayer is about the Kingdom of God living in me.
Tim Keller, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, would point this out, saying that prayer is focused on “God’s presence and kingdom.” Do not be discouraged if you do not know how to pray this way. Paul writes in Romans 8:26-27 encouraging us saying, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Ultimately, prayer is centered around God and He enables us to pray according to this manner. The Holy Spirit is there to help us pray and to glorify the Father through Christ.
Prayer is about being kingdom-centered.