Prayer – the Beginning and the End

Under the premise that man’s purpose is union with God (Jn. 17:24), prayer is both the catalyst and the ongoing result of a move of the Spirit. For prayer is not a religious practice for the pious, but the vehicle of ongoing relationship with the uncreated God.

Think of the man who doesn’t talk to his wife? Could such a man genuinely believe his marital relationship was healthy? A good husband does not make endless requests of his wife, lest he weary her, but in relating to her he verbally communicates his love, and affection. He tells her of her beauty and how she captured his heart when they first met. These simple words create the context in her heart for their first love to grow and blossom through the years of their marriage.

The same principle is true with prayer. The believer makes known their needs to a kind Father, and in desiring their relationship to grow also tells Him of His kindness, love, and splendid attributes. When the disciples ask, “Teach us to pray,” they are asking, “Teach us to know the Father as you know Him.” This must be the heart-cry of the believer: “Lord, teach me to pray.” In doing so, the believer receives grace to grow in effectual genuine relationship with the living God.

Not seeking to diminish the effectiveness and potency of petition, I believe the Body of Christ must spend most (not all) of their prayer time telling Him who He is rather than asking Him to do something for them. The Son of Man will not weary at the request and need of His people, but the heart that is moved by His majesty will in turn move His heart at the sound of their voice.