What is Prayer?

Years ago the Lord said to me very specifically, “The first thing I want you to do is to pray”.

I confess I have been rubbish at putting this into practice! So many other things in life have been a distraction and so time and time again I have had to ask forgiveness for not establishing prayer as a priority.

However, recently as I was confessing this failure yet again, I sensed the Lord saying it wasn’t quite true and that I hadn’t failed as much as I had imagined! So I thought about what prayer is.

It’s a conversation with God. It’s telling Him what’s on my mind and listening to His response, it’s spending time actively seeking His presence, it’s bringing the needs of others to Him, it’s sharing honestly and openly and surrendering to Him, it’s a time of asking and receiving. It’s a time of companionship and of love. Singing praise and worship songs is a form of prayer. Speaking in tongues regularly through the day, sending up “arrow” prayers, reciting liturgical prayers and set prayers, sitting in complete silence, contemplating nature, engaging in any creative activity- all are significant forms of prayer if our heart’s desire is to connect with God.

So although I may not have always prayed “first” thing, and at times it has been a struggle, it has certainly been central to my spiritual life. My recent morning prayer that I try to remember to say upon waking is this.. “Dear Holy Spirit, fill me today. Guide my thoughts and help me to pray.”

That’s one way that I can be obedient and put prayer first.