What Is Prayer?

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Effective praying is the key to success in every area of life. What is prayer, and how can you become better at it?

So what is prayer? Prayer is not an emotional release or an escape route. It is much more than just asking God for a favor. And it is most definitely not a religious exercise. God responds to faith, so just repetition and beautiful words do not get the attention of God. Your aim in prayer is to be effective. Effective praying is the key to success in every area of life.

Prayer is an attitude. It’s communicating and fellowshiping with God. You can live in an attitude of prayer every moment, being in constant contact with God. You may be thinking, But I can’t spend all my time in prayer! Yes, you can! In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the Apostle Paul instructed the Church to “pray without ceasing.” Luke 18:1 says, “Men ought always to pray, and not faint.” The No. 1 priority in God’s heart is to spend quality time with us daily. We need to be able to hear His voice.

The more time you spend in God’s presence, the more you will act and think like Him. He needs people who will pray—not just when they happen to think about it, but every day. Your natural human reaction to the call for prayer may be to say, “Hey, I hardly have time to handle the crises in my life right now. I can’t afford to spend any more time in prayer!” But the truth is, you can’t afford not to.

It’s when we begin to make prayer our priority—to lay aside the natural things and take up the things of God—that the glory of God will be reflected in us. It’s just a matter of rearranging your priorities. The Lord will show you exactly what you need to do to drop certain things out of your life that steal your time with Him. He will also tell you to do certain things that will help you get in the habit of spending time with Him. You can create good habits in God the same way you can create poor habits. If you’ll habitually apply yourself to making contact with Him daily through prayer and reading the Bible, it will become a way of life to you.

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