What is Prayer?

prayer1 (prâr)
    1. A reverent petition made to God, a god, or another object of worship.
    2. The act of making a reverent petition to God, a god, or another object of worship.
  1. An act of communion with God, a god, or another object of worship, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thanksgiving: One evening a week, the family would join together in prayer.
  2. A specially worded form used to address God, a god, or another object of worship.
[Middle English preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precria, from feminine of Latin
rius, obtained by entreaty, from precr, to entreat.]

So, this is what the dictionary has to say about prayer -- not very exciting, is it? I mean, a "reverent petition"? What does that even mean? As Christians, we can sometimes get caught up in a mental definition of prayer, or in a formula for prayer (like "God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food" or the Lord's prayer), and it can really keep us from experiencing God's blessings in our prayer lives! It's not that the Lord's prayer is a bad thing, or that the bedtime prayers that we learned as children are evil, it's just that our creative God expects us to turn our brains on when we talk to Him -- and that's what prayer is really all about. Whenever you talk to God, whether out loud, or in a song, or inside your head, you're praying.

When we love people, we tell them so. When we get a gift, we say thanks (at least I hope so)! When we're frustrated or afraid, when we want or need something, when we can't get through a situation on our own, we talk to someone about it. Maybe our friends can't help or understand our problems, but we tell them anyway because it brings us closer to them. It's the same with our Heavenly Father: prayer builds our relationship with Him because we are taking time to focus completely on Him, even for just a moment. And when we pray, we can have the confidence that comes from knowing that God loves us, has a good plan for our lives, and wants us to experience the joy of living with Him every day.

But I have a question for you all: what is prayer in your life? Is it something that happens at meals occasionally or at bedtime with your younger brothers or sisters? Do you remember to pray when you're not at church? God wants us to talk with him all the time and about everything, not just on Sunday mornings or during mealtime.

So what do you need prayer for? Are you nervous about school this fall? Do you wish you and your siblings got along better? Do you need help with a decision you know you need to make but have been putting off? Stop worrying, stop wishing, and stop procrastinating. God loves you, and He wants you to climb up into His lap and tell him all about the things you care about. And we will come alongside you by praying for you, too.


b_davis said...

What a cool idea, MAD campers! I'm sorry I missed out!

Wanted to let you all know that I missed you all terribly this year and was thinking about you all week last week while I was on vacation in Virginia. I'm still trying to cope with the fact that this was the first MAD Camp I've missed in 14 years and the first time I haven't spent a week of my summer at BFCCC in 15 years. Sad to see it go, but God has other things in store...

One more thing before I actually get on to a prayer request. Some of you may be wondering about the song we wrote last year. Here's the deal - I'm a doof. I got back last year and life blew up in my face and I didn't get around to mailing them out. It became one of those "I gotta do that tomorrow" things and then the tomorrows just started piling up. I still really want to send it out - maybe I'll do it tomorrow... ;)

So, prayer huh? Well here's something. Please pray for my father-in-law and his family. His mother has been hospitalized for about a month after suffering a stroke and several other concurrent complications (the most severe being some internal bleeding and a hole in her stomach). As long as I've known him, he has always shown a very strong, stoic persona - nothing ever rattles this guy's cage. But seeing him last week in Virginia he is obviously upset and in a lot of pain over seeing his mother go through this.

In the way of background, you should know that he and his first wife divorced when Buffy was 13. After that, he slowly walk away from his faith and became disillusioned with the Church in general. However, this situation with his mother has him asking some very tough but good questions. Pray that he would allow himself to feel and express through this time and that he would open himself up again to the work of the Holy Spirit in his life so he can begin exploring the questions he's asking himself right now.

Thanks y'all! By the way, I gots my own blogspot up in here - briandavis.blogspot.com. I haven't posted anything since June, and that's not even a real blog. But I have lots of stuff on the way. God bless and keep praying!


Pastor John said...

Hey Brian,
You would have been proud of David for his worship leadership at MAD Camp -- I was, for sure! He reminds me a lot of you when you were 21, except that he takes up a bit more space on the platform. :-)


Pastor John said...

Oh, yeah, Brian, I am praying for your father in law. Prayer -- that's what this blog is about, right?

Anonymous said...

this is a really good idea, and i am really glad that we can all have a daily thing to read, to keep us close to God throughout the year. thanks laura!!

Allison said...

Hey! Im so glad that this has been made.... Thankyou Laura. As you all know, Im here in Texas, and Im so glad that I can stay in touch with you all.

My prayer life.... hmm.... I guess youre never there yet with anything..... but to tell you the truth, Im dissatisfied with it.... dont get me wrong, it is very powerful.. im not dissatisfied because it is bad or not enough, Im dissatsfied b/c Ive tasted it and I want more than I already have! Its overwhelming how much intamacy God has in store for us. He wants us to KNOW Him... "Oh, that we might KNOW the Lord, let us press on to KNOW him" (Hosea 6 anyone>?) Anyways. It has to be two way.... thats another thing, alot of people just sit and flood there wants and or complaints out to God..... not that that is bad, but sometimes God is trying to tell us things, but he cant cuz were too busy yappin. Just sit, and listen. If youre patient and still, God will speak to you in many ways. Prayer is so essential in your relationship with God. Its your communication, and it provides comfort; atleast to me, to know that God is always there to listen, and he has the power. He is incredible.

Pray that I dont pass out in the heat at band camp tommorrow. Its so blasted hot here!

Laura said...

Hey, who is "anonymous?" Make sure you put in some kind of name so we know who you are... you can do that by clicking the "Other" spot and entering your name. Thanks!

Jonna said...

What a fantastic idea! I look forward to keeping up with and praying for my MAD family.


Allison said...

so... whens the next post?