Why Pray, What is Prayer? // Day 1

By: Jess Hill

1 Timothy 2: 1-6

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For,

There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–Why Pray? What is Prayer?

  • Prayer is a verbal response of faith to God’s transcendent Word and grace, it is a way to personally encounter God and respond to the knowledge of God
  • Prayer is seeking to respond and connect to God’s being and reality
  • Prayer is a human instinct to reach out for help based on a very general and unfocused sense of God but can also be a spiritual gift
  • God speaks to us through His living Word and we respond through prayer; through the Word and Spirit, prayer becomes a conversation with God
  • The power of our prayers lies not in our effort or technique, but rather in our knowledge of God
  • Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self knowledge and is the main way we experience deep change
  • Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us; prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire
  • Prayer is striving to “take hold of God” in the way we embrace someone to show love
  • The failure to pray is not breaking a religious rule, but it is a failure to treat God as God; it is a sin against his glory
  • All Christians are expected to have a regular, faithful, devoted, fervent prayer life; prayer is one of the main signs that the Spirit has come into the heart through faith in Christ
  • The Spirit gives us the confidence and desire to pray to God and enables us to pray when we don’t know what to say
  • Prayer tunes your heart to God; prayer changes not only you, but those around you


To discover the real you, look at what you spend time thinking about when no one is looking, when nothing is forcing you to think about anything in particular.

In these moments, do your thoughts turn towards God? You may want to be seen as a humble, unassuming person, but do you take the initiative to confess your sins before God? You wish to be perceived as a positive, cheerful person, but do you habitually thank God for everything you have and praise him for who he is?

You may speak a great deal about what a blessing your faith is and how you much you love the Lord, but if you are prayerless – is that really true? If you aren’t joyful, humble, and faithful in private before God, then what you want to appear to be on the outside won’t match what you truly are.

Matthew 6: 5-6

5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth; that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Knowing God better can’t be achieved all by yourself. It requires the community of the church, participation in corporate worship as well as private devotion, and instruction in the Bible as well as silent meditation. To better know God should be through both public and private prayer.

“Prayer is awe, intimacy, struggle – yet the way to reality. There is nothing more important, or harder, or richer, or more life altering. There is absolutely nothing so great as prayer.”

Content retrieved from: Timothy Keller’s book, Prayer – Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, 2014