“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV
Christians are to engage in “all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Some well-intentioned people have, unfortunately, twisted this simple call to pray with perseverance into a complicated practice shrouded in mystery.
When we pray we approach God with various intentions. Sometimes we intercede on behalf of a hurting person. Other times we speak words of worship in a deeply personal way. Our prayers may be to consecrate someone for service for God or to thank God for the ministry of someone. We may pray privately, alongside a few friends, or within the context of a large gathering.
There are times when we know exactly what is needed and we clearly express that need to God. At other times, however, the situation and circumstances are so confusing that the Spirit “himself intercedes for us with wordless groans (Romans 8:26).”
Whenever and however we pray we fulfill in part Paul’s call to pray “with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Some people set themselves apart from the rest of us as experts on prayer. They profess a personal insight that few others possess. As a result, too many mistakenly conclude that prayer is something that requires a unique spiritual maturity.
Prayer is simply the discipline of communicating with God. Prayer is speaking to God about your sorrows and your joys. Prayer is every bit as much about listening to God as it is about taking to God. Through prayer we recognize our own limitations and affirm the unlimited nature of God. In prayer we nurture our relationship with God.