When you ask around, most people will say that they pray. When you ask them how they pray, and why they pray, some answers you'll get will probably be :
1. Because we're supposed to.
2. Habit / routine.
3. Because I need this or that / I'm praying for the well being of my family....etc
Some people will say : I don't pray. When you ask them why? They'll probably answer : because God already knows what I need.
So why do we pray? How do prayers impact the spiritual state, and how do prayers affect the physical state? It cannot be denied that when properly done, prayers are very powerful. But some prayers are a lot less effective than others. Why is that?
There are many different types of prayers. A few examples are :
1. Repetition. That's when a believer says the same set of prayers over and over again a few times a day without really understanding or pondering on the prayer or how the prayer affects his/her life. This is also known as chanting. This type of praying consists of chanting "Our Father in Heaven hallowed be thy name" without experiencing the spirit of sonship. They have said it so often that it has become another routine, simply words, without experiencing the joy and the awe of calling God, the alpha and the omega, our Father.
2. Coming to God as a supplicant. Please God please please please......give me this, help me with that. I need this so badly.......
3. Bargaining with God. Dear God, if you give me this, I'll light a candle and pray for 7 nights.......Dear God, if you stop this incident from happening, I'll fast for 2 days........
But how do we pray so that we can connect properly with God our Father? How do we pray so that we'll know His perfect will for us, and the road He has prepared for us? And how do we know whether we are on the correct path or not? And the ultimate question is, why do we pray since God has already prepared everything for us?
God prepares everything for us in the spiritual realm. It's already there for the taking. But we are physical beings. How do we know what God has prepared for us? And how do we receive what God has prepared for us?
So we pray. Prayer is the key that unlocks the spiritual for the physical. We can only 'see and hear' God when we pray. Prayers lift the veil from our eyes and allow the Holy Spirit within us to manifest and show us the way. To show His perfect will.
Be still when we pray. Let go of our worries and calm ourselves. Do not go into prayers with the 'Me' attitude. Ask not what He can do for us. Instead, reflect on our lives, on the way how God guides us in our life journey throughout. His role in our lives. In this, we can see that God has never left us and His great love for us. How He picks us up when we fall. The hope He gives us in our bleakest hours. Forgiveness again and again when we sin. How He breaks the chains of guilt that bind us. His protection. His presence when we rejoice. His hand in our everyday lives. The assurance of Emmanuel. When we are still and ponder on these, meditate on these, we are praying the type of prayers that connects us to God.
Thus, we communicate with God. If there are several paths in our lives to choose from, as we pray, we will gradually discover the right path to follow. When we choose the right path, things will move smoothly. God will send us helpers in the form of the people around us and opportunities to smooth the path. We will still face difficulties, but it will not be a dead knot. And the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galations 5: 22-23 ) will manifest in us, the peace and joy within the spirit. This is how we know we are following His perfect will for us. We will have peace and joy of the spirit even when we face challenges and hardships. If we rush headlong into something we want, be it a new job or a new relationship, and there are hindrances left and right, and in our heart and spirit, we feel frustrations, anger and deep doubt, go back to God. The high probability is that this is not the path God intended for us. Again, be still and pray. Ask God to show us the right path. This is how we test and approve His perfect will.
Again, ask not what He can do for us, but what we can do for Him. After we communicate with God, the Holy Spirit will make us naturally inclined and eager to share our experiences in God with others.
~To help them overcome their problems.
~To help them lift the veil from their eyes.
~To help them see God.
~To bring them to Jesus, and to be holy and blameless in Jesus.
~To let them understand that Jesus is the only answer to all problems.
Intercede for them in prayers. Evangelise to them. Bring them to the Gospel. Let them taste and see that the Lord is good, just as we ourselves have tasted. And thus, we walk with God.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ( James 5:16 )