Prayer This has been described as 'the intercourse of a dependent one with God.' It may take the form of Communion
in one brought nigh, or it may be the making requests for oneself or for others. There are Twelve
different words used for prayer in the O.T., and eight in the N.T., with Various
shades of meaning, as there are in English: 'asking, begging, beseeching,' etc. In the synoptic Gospels
the word used in connection with Christ
is that most commonly employed for "praying," but in John's Gospel
the word is that generally rendered, 'ask' or, 'demand.' The change is explained by the different aspect in which the Lord is presented in John. God hears and encourages prayer. A cry to God is the mark of a soul truly turning to Him: "Behold, he prayeth," was said of Saul of Tarsus
. Acts 9: 11. To the saints it is said, "Pray without ceasing;" "ask and ye shall receive." "If we ask anything according to his will he heareth us, and . . . . we know that we have the petitions." "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall receive." "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father
in my name, he will give it you." The disciples as left here, representative of Christ
and charged with His interests, were to ask in His name; and the same is true in principle as regards believers now. Mark 11: 24; John 14: 13; John 15: 16; John 16: 23, 26; James 1: 5-7; 1 John 5: 14, 15. Christians are exhorted to make known all their petitions, or requests, to God, and having done so, the peace of God shall keep their hearts and minds. Phil. 4: 6, 7. This is their wondrous privilege: they have addressed God, and in peace they leave it with Him to grant their petitions or not. The above passages demonstrate that to receive what is prayed for, requests must be in faith, they must be according to the light of God's will, and hence made in the name of the Lord Jesus. While prayer is always to God, it is suggested that requests would naturally be made to the Father
in respect of all that tends to the promotion of Christ
in believers, as well as in things referring to their Discipline
in the pathway here. On the other hand prayer would be made to the Lord in relation to that over which He is set as administrator, such as the service of the Gospel
, the saints, the house of God, etc.
The attitudes in prayer which are recorded are: 'standing,' 1 Sam. 1: 26; Mark 11: 25; 'kneeling,' Dan. 6: 10; Luke 22: 41; and 'falling down,' Deut. 9: 25; Joshua 7: 6.