If I were to ask what prayer is I’m sure the classic Sunday school answer ‘talking to God’ would come to our minds. But that is not what I am asking. For I believe Webster’s original definition accurately defines it when he stated “A solemn address to the supreme being”. But what I would like to see rather is three elements of Prayer that though subtle, they are really the foundation of what makes prayer not only what it is but also what makes it effective.
Worship; this word is often accompanied with praise and though praise has a vital part in prayer as it says in Psalm 100, the worship I am talking about here is not the literal worship found in verbal praise. When we the created come before our supreme creator in solemn earnest prayer we are acknowledging not only our incompetence but His power, knowledge and wisdom. This is not the pious acknowledging of verbal expressions but it is an attitude of our heart. By making a simple request we thus insinuate that the one with whom we make the request is capable to fulfill it. Thus a man addressing God is worshiping Him not directly in words but indirectly in action.
Trust; by coming to God in prayer we are displaying our confidence not only in His integrity but also in His veracity. Would one confide their inner feelings with one they do not trust? Do you request an errand in the hand of one with whom you have no confidence they will carry it out? How much more foolish would we be to address the supreme all knowing God, if in reality we knew we don’t have confidence that He is capable of acting. That would be an ultimate form of self deceit. So if we are not lying to ourselves then when we approach our Lord in prayer we are putting our trust in the integrity of who He says He is.
Faith; This is not only having confidence in God’s integrity (as is trust) but also believing the claims and declarations of God based on His veracity. If I were to come to God in prayer and request the healing of a friend I not only trust God that He is capable of healing but I have the faith that when He said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ that He is right there, not only listening to my request but knowing the pain and sorrow that caused me to make such a request. Thus faith is not absent from trust but could we say trust at the next level.
As I said before these three things are not verbal declarations but subtle attitudes of the heart that make prayer what it is. There are many writingsteaching us what say or how we are to address God in prayer but let us look deeper than that and examine our hearts.