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19 December, 2014

What is Prayer?


Prayer is a COMING to God. Some Bible expressions are: "He who comes to God." "He who comes to me." "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden." "He is able also to save those to the uttermost — who come unto God by him." "Come to the waters." "Come buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk." "Come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

God is the Christian's tender Father. In prayer, we should come to Him — as a child to its father. God loves this familiarity. This is not irreverence. We can come to Him familiarly — and yet reverently.
We can conceive of God both as the Supreme Ruler of the universe on His throne — and as our tender Father by our side. We should be so conscious of His being with us, that when we go into our prayer closets — we shall almost feel like holding the door ajar to admit Him! Then a little closer still, we can conceive of Him as being in our own hearts. We should turn our voice inward and speak to Him in our own heart. We see Him then, not only as a ruler in Heaven — but as a ruler in our own hearts. When we come to God, we should have this view of Him.

We should come to God in prayer and speak to Him, thanking Him or making a request of Him — as familiarly as with the closest friend. In true prayer, we talk personally with God; we embrace Him as a bosom companion; we see Him and hear Him and speak to Him and feel His presence — as we do that of a friend. This seeing and hearing and making Him a person with us — is in the province of faith. In prayer we close our eyes to things that are seen — and open them to things unseen. Prayer is a coming to God and embracing Him — a drinking in of His life and spirit, a leaning on His bosom, and feeling the beating of His heart warm with love.

Prayer is the Christian pilgrim's staff
To walk with God all day!

Enoch walked with God three hundred years. That long walk we do not suppose was a walk in silence — but a walk in converse. We do not know what was said, and it is not God's purpose that we should know — but we can come to Him, and He will teach us what to say.

Prayer is more than bending the knee and saying some words. It is the shutting of the closet door — and being ALONE WITH GOD. It is the coming of the soul, tremulous with love and holy awe — before His sacred presence; and at the same time — a talking to Him in childlike innocence and confidence.

The little child climbs upon its father's knee and, leaning upon his bosom, delighting itself in his companionship. There in the sacred silence, the heart seems to talk with heart, and the spirit of the child — is fashioned into the likeness of the parent! Just so, prayer is Heavenly Father and His redeemed child — in the most intimate converse and sweetest companionship. There he finds rest.

Wrapped in the bosom of his God,
His head upon his breast,
Forgetful of the cares of life,
He finds the perfect rest!


Charles Orr 
(1844-1913)