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Prayer, the most intimate conversation - Kevin Park

Kevin writes a thought-provoking article reflecting on the importance of prayer, and encouraging us to consider our motivations towards it.



Conversation


Mouths are not only for taste but they are also for initiating conversations too.


When we get together with family members and close friends, we love to converse with one another. Without conversation, we lead unfulfilled lives.


Therefore, conversation is one of the most important ways to build a relationship with one another.


Prayer


Like daily conversations between people, prayer is the way to have a conversation with God.

God longs to communicate with every one of us because we automatically became His children if we believe in Jesus Christ (John chapter 1, verse 12; Galatians chapter 3, verse 26). More than that, prayer builds the bridge between Heaven and Earth.


Prayer is like spiritual-oxygen, however it can be easy to ignore in today’s busy culture. It feels counterintuitive to stop in the middle of something and fix our eyes on God, whom we cannot physically see and hear, and lay our needs before Him.


We naturally desire to attempt everything ourselves.When we do think to pray, in a roundabout way we are often asking God for an easy and comfortable life.We may pretend that our expression to God is real devotion towards Him while our motivation is focused on ourselves.


Although being a good provider is a part of God’s job, He desires to see our surrendered devotion towards Him. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus Christ illustrated His devotion towards God.


Since Christ was partly human when He came to earth, He did not want to suffer so He pleaded with His Father three times that suffering may be taken from Him.

However, He suffered to the point of His death, anyway.


We may wonder why He chose to suffer, instead of protecting Himself with God’s power. It was all because of His devotion towards His Father. Jesus’ mission was to fulfil God’s mission, which was sacrificing himself for our salvation (Matthew chapter 26, verses 36-56).


Lord’s Prayer


Before Jesus was crucified, He taught His followers how to pray. In Matthew’s Gospel, they were taught not to be like hypocrites who pray with fancy words or to impress others.

Although prayer should be a heartfelt conversation, the Lord’s prayer is an important guide.


It includes not only simple instructions on how to pray, but it is also based on God’s mission.

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to align ourselves with God’s will. We know this, especially because the first acknowledgement is an honour to God’s authority.Following this, it asks that His kingdom may be visible on earth with a surrendered heart.


Mission arises from the heart of God Himself, and is communicated from His heart to ours.” (John Stott, The Contemporary Christian: An Urgent Plea for Double Listening)


The Priority of Prayer


Prayer is a spiritual practice we should treasure and never take for granted. We need God all the time, everyday and every second.


Prayer is like spiritual-oxygen, however it can be easy to ignore in today’s busy culture. It feels counterintuitive to stop in the middle of something and fix our eyes on God, whom we cannot physically see and hear, and lay our needs before Him.

Through God’s spoken word, the universe was made; more specifically heavens and the earth. Something humans will never be able to achieve.


While He is in charge of everything on Heaven and Earth and remains flawless, we continue to stumble in many ways. God knows every detail of our lives, from beginning to end.

Jesus knew the priority of prayer. He valued prayer above everything else.


In Mark chapter 11, verses 15-17, Jesus saw money changers at the temple and overthrew everything and proclaimed, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”


While there are many valuable things for the church, prioritising prayer is recognised as valuing God above all else. If prayer is not a priority, everything will be crumbling down according to Jesus.


I love being in prayer ministries, such as an E-Prayer Lead and a prayer calendar facilitator. They motivate me to pray for my church. Most of all, prayer motivates us to fellowship with our heavenly Father.


I do not have to get all my words right in prayer as it is Jesus who is the true intercessor (Romans chapter 8, verses 26-27, 34).


God has strategically chosen to establish and utilise prayer as part of His Sovereign plan for us. It is like oxygen to our spiritual lives. It provides the needed wind in our sails to propel everything we do as believers, and it’s the unseen key to the success of every ministry of the church.” (Alex and Stephen Kendrick)


So, let us clear spaces to pray for one another and most importantly, to have intimate fellowship with God, our heavenly Father. I know I have to!


Kevin Park is studying at Carey Baptist College and finds that Christian-writing is his ultimate will of God and his ultimate method to build the kingdom of God. He started to become a Christian writer from 2013. Other than his writing life, Kevin desires to see that each finds everlasting satisfaction in God, the Almighty. You will be able to contact him at kevin.park1991@gmail.com. He loves to encourage others spiritually. // Photo credit:


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