Why do people pray? Prayer is the act of communicating with God. There is no secret formula for prayer. There are no special words or special language. There is also no prescribed place or time for prayer. God gave human beings the gifts of intellect, emotion and language. These gifts enable us to communicate to the world around us. These same gifts also allow us to communicate with God.
When people talk with one another, they convey both their thoughts and feelings. Two friends sitting down for a chat do not simply recite memorized words to one another. That would be foolish and meaningless. Communication between people is only meaningful when people’s hearts and thoughts are expressed to one another.
God blessed us with the ability to communicate. Why would God want us to be able to express ourselves to one another, but not to Him our Creator? In Islam, prayer is the recitation of memorized words in Arabic five times a day. And prayer must be in a particular pose and in a particular direction. Why would God want this? Would not the living God want you to communicate in meaningful truth? And by meaningful truth I mean the true condition of our being.
God wants us to tell Him what is on our hearts and minds. That is why Christians pray in their own language. If a person cannot speak a particular language (such as Arabic) fluently, they cannot communicate what is truly in their hearts and minds in that language. They want to talk with God about deep thoughts and feelings. They believe God is all knowing and all understanding. God will hear them if they pray in spirit and in truth.
In Christianity, prayer takes many forms. There are prayers of joy and thanksgiving. There are prayers for help and courage. There are prayers for the sick and suffering. There are also prayers for forgiveness of sin and for the salvation of lost souls. Christian prayers are from the true condition of our being.
Prayer is supposed to be the expression of our thoughts and feelings to our loving Creator. A Christian may weep in prayer from a sorrowful heart, or shout with joy to the God of his salvation. A Christian may fall to the ground, or stand with arms raised to the heavens in prayer. They may pray aloud or in the quietness of their hearts. There are no rules or prescribed methods. There are no mandatory memorized words. There is simply a human being communicating with the God of his creation.
Prayer is not intended to produce a feeling of holiness or righteousness. It is not about ceremony, ritual or location. Prayer is about speaking the truth in faith. Isa Al-Masih told His disciples that prayer is a personal experience with God. He said, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Injil, Matthew 6:6).
God hears our prayers. There are no special words we need to recite. Prayer is merely talking with God in truth and reverence. It is about you recognizing Him as the giver of life and all things therein.
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