What is Prayer?

God has been taking me on an exciting journey of discovering and I’ve been asking: just what is prayer? In my studies I discover the Hebrew word for prayer: tefillah (tey-fill-ah), the definitions given are:

  • to “self evaluate” going on to explain that the Jews would compare their actions, behaviour and attitude against God’s holiness. Dave Adamson
  • the root is: ‘to think, entreat, judge, intercede’, and the reflexive: ‘to judge oneself’, and ‘to pray’.  Encyclopedia.com
  • “a labor of awakening the hidden love within the heart until a state of intimate union with the divine is achieved.” Going on to explain that it’s “communion, a joining together of mind and spirit.” Tzvi Freeman

The self evaluate definition is confirmed in 2 Corinthians 13:5, 9 we’re urged to test and evaluate ourselves, this means to look closely at our faith and the way that we are living our lives. We are to examine ourselves on a regular basis to ensure that we are living as Jesus Christ wants us to. We are to be genuine examples of Christ not counterfeit. But it also assures us that we don’t need to fear, fret or worry if we find ourselves weak because we can ask for God’s power to freely flow through us and make us complete – fully restored and mature in godly character and spirit!

The cry to self-examine is something that can make me feel very uncomfortable and it’s not an easy thing to do. As I’ve been reflecting upon it I’ve been reminded of a story my husband told me. He witnessed a road accident between a car and a motor bike. The motorcyclist tried to get up almost immediately after the accident had sent him crashing to the road and he was trying to walk upon a broken leg in an attempt to get his bike off the road. My husband kept urging the cyclist to sit down as his leg didn’t look too good (it was twisted the wrong way) but the guy kept trying and trying and kept falling down getting more and more frustrated and angry. Eventually the emergency services arrived and the guy was calmed down and taken to hospital. As I pondered on that story I realised that I can be like that motorcyclist, I have a big issue to deal with but I’m too focused on the smaller issue. God patiently and lovingly asks me time after time to sit down and listen, to deal with the bigger issue assuring me that the smaller issue will be dealt with also.

But I’m encouraged by the truth that examination will lead to me prayer and thus transformation!

“Through prayer we move from where we are to where we ought to be ….. because in prayer (the speech of the devoted heart), the soul climbs higher and higher: ascending step by step, from its present level to the very peak of all levels, drawn upwards by its passion for God, until it becomes fully absorbed in the radiance of the Infinite, blessed be He.”J.Immanuel Schochet

As I lay my big and small issue before the One I love He gently and kindly deals with them. As I trust God to be my Jehovah Rapha (the God who heals see Exodus 15:26) I know that daily He can heal, cure, restore and make me whole.

I can declare that my sins have been taken away from me as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103) and can live my life in freedom!

Praise the Lord all of my soul!

With my whole heart, my whole life and with my innermost being I bow in wonder before the One I love. I urge my soul to bless and affectionately praise the Lord. I desire for all that is within me to give praise, glory and honour to my Saviour Jesus. I invite the Holy Spirit to come and do a great work in my life.

I urge my mind to remember ALL of my Lord’s wonderful and life-giving benefits! I call to mind the miracles of kindness that I’ve witnessed in my life: my heart has been kissed and healed with forgiveness, for He has forgiven ALL of my sins and wrong doings. I have received healing from all sickness and diseases. My life has been redeemed from the pit of death and destruction. I’m lavishly crowned with lovingkindness and tender mercy. The Lord satisfies my life with good things and my life is reinvigorated, I feel as if I am an eagle soaring great heights.

Praise the Lord all of my soul!

Abba makes things right because He executes righteousness and grants justice to the defenceless. Just as He did for the children of Israel He makes know His ways to us, revealing what He alone can do.

Praise the Lord all of my soul!

God is so kind and tender-hearted; He is merciful and gracious; slow to anger; abounding in compassion and lovingkindness. He is always patient with people who fail Him because His love is like a flooding river overflowing its banks with kindness.

The Lord has not dealt with us according to our sins and we are not punished according to our wickedness. The Almighty is not holding a grudge against us or disciplining us because of our sins.

NO! Rather as high as the heavens are above the earth is how far our wickedness has been removed from us! As far as the east is from the west is how far our sins have been removed from us!

Praise the Lord all of my soul!

Our Heavenly Father is a loving father who has tender and compassionate feelings towards us. How He smiles when we come into His presence with awe-filled respect and deep reverence.

Our Lord knows all about us, inside and out, and is mindful that we’re made from mere dust.

Our days are momentary moments that swiftly fade away, what is left behind for others to remember us by?

In contrast the Lord God Almighty has endless lovingkindness that stretches from everlasting to everlasting; His love is unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear Him. The Lord’s unfailing faithfulness passes from parents to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. So what legacy can we leave? The love of the Lord which has been imprinted upon our hearts as a rich inheritance for the generations to follow!

Praise the Lord all of my soul!

God’s heavenly throne is established in the heavens, it is eternal, secure, and strong! His sovereignty rules over the entire universe.

Therefore, bless and praise the Lord you messengers of power, you His angels, who do His commandments and obey the voice of His word!

Bless the Lord all you mighty warriors who serve Him, do His will and fulfil His desires.

Let all of God’s works throughout the earth, wherever His dominion stretches, praise the Lord!

As for me, I will bless and affectionately praise the Lord with my whole heart for ALL of my days!

Praise the Lord all of my soul!

(Inspired by Psalm 103 Amplified and The Passion Translation)

‘You Came to My Rescue’ – Christy Nockels – YouTube lyrics video

Image – Pixabay