What is Prayer?

Once when Jesus had finished praying, one of His disciples asked, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples" (Lk. 11:1).

Prayer is something we learn to do. We're not born knowing how to pray, nor do we automatically receive some mystic power to utter prayers when we obey the gospel.

What is Prayer?
There are several Greek words translated "pray" and "prayer." Some of them are also translated "beseech," "beg," "ask," "implore," "request," "petition," and "supplication."

Generally speaking, prayer is communicating with God, worshipfully praising Him as we express our thoughts, needs, desires, wishes, and thanks.

Prayer: The Most Frequent Act of Worship
We engage in prayer more than any other worshipful act. We pray more than we go to church, study the Bible, or do personal work.

Paul says, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Th. 5:17).

Since prayer is a deeply spiritual way in which we worship God, it's well worth our time to learn to pray, so we can do our best when we worship.

Power of Prayer
Besides worshiping God in prayer, we also petition Him to work in the lives of men, according to His will.

James says, "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much" (Jas. 5:16). Therefore he tells us to pray when we are sick, and ask others to pray for us, especially the elders.

Knowing our prayers can result in God exercising His power in our lives, we're greatly benefited by learning to pray.

Jesus Taught by Modeling
When a disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He taught him by praying aloud.

"When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation'" (Lk. 11:2-4).

From Jesus' example, we realize that modeling is one of the best ways to teach others to pray.

Likewise, we realize that listening to people pray is one of the best ways to learn to pray

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