The Heart of Prayer

The Heart of Prayer

One of my kids will regularly come to me and sit on my knee. I put my arms around them, and they just sit in my embrace. They don’t say anything. They just sit in my embrace. In a sense, this is what prayer is really about. Prayer is the place where we experience the love and warmth of our Heavenly Father. Its why the Lords Prayer begins by saying – ‘Our Father in heaven….’. Prayer is critical if you desire to intimately walk with God.

Yet while we acknowledge the heart behind prayer, and its importance, prayer remains a struggle. Perhaps John Piper summed it up best when he said the following: ‘If I try to pray for people or events without having the word in front of me guiding my prayers, then several negative things happen. One is that I tend to be very repetitive… I just pray the same things all the time. Another negative things is that my mind tends to wander…’ 

One of the secrets to a rich prayer life, and hence an intimate walk with God, is the discipline of praying Scripture, particularly the psalms. Gordon Wenham says the Psalms are designed to be prayed. Consider Psalm 23 and how it can be personalised:

‘…Lord, thank you for being my shepherd. You have watched over me my entire life. I am truly blessed. Thank you that you guide me to green pastures. Apart from you, nothing else is ever able to quench the thirst of my soul. I do not deserve such blessing. Thank you that you guide me along the right path, that despite what comes my way, you are always watching over me. Thank you Jesus, this is only possible because of your death and resurrection…’

I think every Christian can have a meaningful and satisfying prayer life. I think every Christian can have a rich and intimate walk with God. I encourage you to try praying the psalms. May you experience the love and warmth of your heavenly Father like never before.

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