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What is Prayer?

Answers | Sun Valley Community Church | 6 mins

Prayer is very simple. Praying is having a personal conversation with a loving God who’s always there to hear us and help us.  

When we try to answer the question, "What is prayer?" all kinds of stereotypes can come into our minds. We start getting confused by thoughts of formal prayers we’ve heard in rituals and the public prayers that people sometimes perform for show or to influence opinion. But true prayer goes far beyond those external displays. It brings into our lives all the wonder and power of a God whose very nature is pure love. 

How to Pray 

“He said to them, “When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” - Luke 11:2-4 

Real prayer, the truly powerful kind of prayer, is just a heartfelt, honest conversation between God and us that we can do anytime, anyplace. We open our hearts to God, and God pours his blessings on us. Let’s look at a simple prayer: 

Dear God, 

Thank you for always being here for me. I’m sorry for all the times when I could’ve done better, but I didn’t. Please forgive me like I forgive others. Please be with me, guide me, and give me what I need to do your work. 

‌In Jesus’ name, 


Now, let’s break down each part of the prayer to understand the elements of good prayer and become able to create our own prayers. 

Dear God  
Christians typically address God as one of the Trinity — God the Father, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit. We can address God as any of the three. Using ‘dear’ demonstrates the warm personal nature of our relationship with God. 

Thank you  ‌
When we express gratitude, our hearts open wider to God. We gain more space inside of us to accept God’s love and beautiful blessings. Our connection with God is strengthened, and our prayer becomes more powerful. 

I’m sorry ‌
When we admit our shortcomings and mistakes, we take responsibility for them, and God can forgive us.  

Like I forgive others 
When we forgive others, we let go of any pain we’re holding in our hearts. Our slate is wiped clean. Our burdens are lifted, and we feel fresh and pure. 

Please be with me and guide me 
Surrendering entirely to God makes it much easier for us to stay centered in His divine love, to walk His path in light, and to be quietly aware of His guidance. 

Give me what I need 
Asking God for what we need — instead of presenting Him with a laundry list of our wants — makes us more able to recognize God’s answers to our prayers because He often gives us what we really need rather than what we think we need. 

In Jesus’ name 

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.- John 14:13-14

When Jesus ascended to heaven, he became our intercessor and advocate before God and it is through Him that we have a relationship with God.  

Amen means “so be it,” “verily” or “truly.” Christians also use amen to express agreement. 

Why Prayer Matters 

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” - 1 John 5:14 

Prayer is crucial in creating and growing our relationship with God. It opens a direct pipeline to God’s divine love, His brilliant light, and His incredible blessings. Prayer is quality time with God that uplifts us and gives us strength. 

When to Pray

And 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 

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about prayer is that we can do it anytime, anyplace. When we get in the habit of connecting to God often by using prayer throughout our day, we quickly grow closer and closer to God until we are permanently resting in the blissful peace of His divine presence. 

As we go through our daily lives, there are many activities that we can use as trigger points reminding us to pray. We can say those prayers out loud or silently in our minds. We can pray: 

- When we wake, expressing gratitude for another day and asking God to bless and guide us. 

- When we eat, we thank God and ask Him to bless the food and our bodies. 

- Before starting our car or on any journey, asking for safe passage. 

- At the beginning of any endeavor, asking for God’s guidance. 

- Before we sleep at night, talking our day over with God. 

Written By

Sun Valley Community Church

We as a church exist to help you meet, know and follow Jesus. No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, God loves you and you are welcome at Sun Valley. 

Published on Jan 24, 2022