What is Prayer and Who Can Pray?

I have become convinced that I personally, and we as Christians, do not understand or access the great power of prayer, despite intellectually knowing of its importance. This lesson uses the words of “An Unknown Christian” who wrote The Kneeling Christian probably seventy or eighty years ago. This wonderful book is public domain and is available to read online. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/unknown/kneeling.toc.html If you would like a hard copy, Zondervan still publishes it. http://www.zondervan.com

The following definition of prayer was given by an Edinburgh, Scotland schoolboy about a century ago. “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful, acknowledgment of His mercies.”

Our anonymous Christian Brother writes:

The Mohammedan cannot pray unless he has learned a few phrases in Arabic, for his “god” only hears prayers offered in what they believe to be the holy language. Praise be to God, no such restrictions of caste or language stand between us and our God. Can any man, therefore, pray?

Yes, you reply, anyone. But the Bible does not say so. Only a child of God can truly pray to God. Only a son can enter His presence. It is gloriously true that anyone can cry to Him for help — for pardon and mercy. But that is scarcely prayer. Prayer is much more than that. Prayer is going into ‘the secret place of the Most High,’ and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). Prayer is a making known to God our wants and desires, and holding out the hand of faith to take His gifts. Prayer is the result of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. It is communion with God. Now, there can scarcely be communion between a king and a rebel. What communion hath light with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14). In ourselves we have no right to pray. We have access to God only through the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:18, 2:12).

Prayer is much more than the cry of a drowning man — of a man sinking in the whirlpool of sin: ‘Lord, save me! I am lost! I am undone! Redeem me! Save me!’

Prayer is the privilege of a child. Children of God alone can claim from the heavenly Father the things which He hath prepared for them that love Him. Our Lord told us that in prayer we should call God ‘our Father.’ Surely only children can use that word? St. Paul says that it is ‘because ye are sons God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father’ (Galatians 6:6). Is this what was in God’s mind when, in dealing with Job’s ‘comforters,’ He said, ‘My servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept’ (Job 42:8.)? It looked as if they would not have been ‘accepted’ in the matter of prayer.”

RT - We are so blessed! We are new creations. (II Corinthians 5:17) We are in the world but not of the world. (II Corinthians 10:2-4) Praise the wonderful name of our Lord, and talk to Him because He has asked us to do so!

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