22nd March 2011

What Is Prayer?

 “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10 (NIV)

You have just read the first recorded prayer in the Bible. No doubt Adam prayed to God at other times as well, but this is the first recorded prayer. In chapter 1 verses 28 to 30 one can hardly imagine Adam not praying when God told him to be fruitful and increase and gave him rule over the other created beings. Plus all the things God gave him for food. I think we can well expect Adam asked about being fruitful, ruling over the numerous beings and eating various foods. Probably long conversations ensued. 

What about when God told him in chapter 2, verses 16 and 17 he could eat of all the fruits in the garden, except one, if he wanted to stay alive? We can be pretty sure he initially wanted to make sure exactly to which fruit God was referring. Maybe he prayed, “What do you mean, die?” After all no human being had ever died yet, so how would he know what dying really was all about? 

No one knows how many days, or weeks, passed before Adam and Eve were banished from the garden. No doubt Adam and Eve prayed to God on many occasions during that time. After all, everything was new to them and there was no one else to ask. 

But isn’t prayer something special with God? Payer is simply talking to God. Many years ago when I was in college one young lady was told she should always face north when she prayed, as that is where God’s throne is. But God is everywhere, so whichever direction you face, you are facing God. Many Christians feel they have to kneel whenever they pray. Check the Bible and you will find only a few examples of kneeling when praying. Some believe they should hold their hands in a certain posture. Why? Again, how many examples of this do we find in the bible? 

Prayer is conversation with God. God is not necessarily interested in the position you are in when you talk to him. He’s interested in what you have to say. In fact, he is continually waiting for human beings to talk to him. He wants us to tell him our thoughts, ideas, needs, plans, goals, hopes, dreams, anxieties, sorrows, etc. To talk to him about everything, no matter where we are, or what we are doing. He’s waiting for us to contact him. 

So why not try it right now wherever you are reading this Day by Day. He’s there 24 hours a day. Talk to him about whatever is on your mind, even though he knows what is on your mind already. He wants you to verbalise it. Go on, pray to God right now! 

Thank you, Father, that we can talk to you at any time of the day, or night. Help us to realise you want us to share every facet of our lives with you—to keep in regular contact, as you are interested in attitude, not necessarily place, or posture.

Study by David Bedford 

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