Prayer is many things. It is communion, adoration, thanksgiving, confession, petition, intercession, and submission. If it were necessary to pick one of these terms to talk about prayer, the writer would pick communion, for the real purpose of prayer is to bring us into a close communion and fellowship with God. There are millions of people around the world who pray. They may use rosary beads, say so many Pater Noster’s, Hail Mary’s, or spin a prayer wheel as do the Buddhists. They may also read their prayers from a special prayer book, recite certain incantations that are supposed to influence deity, or whatever else might be appropriate to them. But, do they come into contact with and have communion with God? This is not to say that the persons who perform these rites are not sincere in their attempts to reach God.
Lucille Walker, in her book, Lord, Teach us to Pray, tells the story of a young couple in Peru, who were summoned by the Lord to travel on foot to a village about one-hundred and eighty miles away, across two snow-capped mountains for the purpose of making the Gospel known to a certain tribe of people. When they arrived the chief told the visiting couple the story of how a plague had come upon his people and many were dying. They called upon their idol “gods,” but nothing happened. So, the chief instructed them to destroy their wooden and stone gods and to seek the God who is above all gods. When they began to seek God, the Almighty heard their prayer and healed their people. Shortly thereafter the tribe began to seek this Supreme Deity and ask for someone to be sent who could help them understand who this God was and how they could serve Him. The same morning the natives began to pray was the same morning that God had spoken to the Peruvian couple, first to the wife and then to the husband, while he was working on the job. They were instructed to go to these people with the Gospel. Within two weeks all the natives who were of age were saved, baptized in water, and the majority of them had been filled with the Spirit.
Prayer is not ritual. Prayer is communion and fellowship with God. It is a personal, living, experience. For more on the subject of prayer please go to prayer.encounterz.org