We have been talking about the various descriptions of prayer by various authors. In my last article I wrote about Prayer as asking and receiving, Prayer as approaching God’s throne, and Prayer as our service due Him. Here are the next three, out of nine, descriptions.
- Prayer is letting Jesus come into us and heal us. According to O. Hallesby,
Our prayers are always a result of Jesus ‘knocking at our heart’s doors…He knocks in order to move us by prayer to open the door…giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting Him to exercise His own power in dealing with them…To pray is nothing more involved than to lie in the sunshine of His grace, to expose our distress of body and soul to those healing rays which can in a wonderful way counteract and render ineffective the bacteria of sin.
5. Prayer is an expression of our fellowship with God. Emil Erpestad gives us another look at prayer. Prayer, he says, is an expression of our fellowship with God. “[It is] the means by which fellowship with Him can become a part of our daily experience.” He says, “Conscious fellowship with God…has its beginning in the prayer of repentance…continued fellowship is possible only where there is some means of communication.”
Therefore, Erpestad suggests that prayer is communication with God; so, as communication (prayer) with Him continues, fellowship continues. And the reverse is also true—as fellowship continues communication (or prayer) continues.
I would agree with Erpestad, but I would go further. Since fellowship by definition is the sharing of things in common, I think prayer is not only the expression of our fellowship with God, it is fellowship with Him. For I believe that prayer is the sharing of the things of our soul that we have in common with Him—which is all the things that He has given us in Christ, mainly our new nature.
6. Prayer is something we do naturally. In many respects prayer is one of the hardest things to learn to do, because in our selfishness and sin we find it impossible to grasp and believe who God is, and that He will help us and deliver us.
On the other hand, God has created in us a natural tendency to cry out to Him when we need help. Even if one is not a Christian, or even if he says that he is an atheist, God nevertheless has created in him a natural desire to get to know Him and to be dependent on Him and to cry out to him when he is in trouble and needing help.
Now if you are skeptical of this idea, watch and listen to a man (whether he is a Christian or not) as he is compelled to jump out of a ten story window of a burning building. What does he cry in his heart, and even out loud for all to hear? “Oh God, help me, save me?”
Unfortunately, because of our inborn sin and because of the devil that constantly temps us, we don’t always do what is natural. I have heard of people even on their death bed curse God.
The above article is an excerpt from this book.
The remaining prayer descriptions, which will be covered later, are these:
7. Prayer is dominant desire.
8. Prayer is a struggle.
9. Prayer is expressing the absence of God