Christian Word Definition: Prayer

The Definition for this week: Prayer

A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God. Oxford Dictionary

An address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought. Merriam – Webster

In the Bible “prayer” is used in a simpler and a more complex a narrower and a wider signification. In the former case, it is supplication for benefits either for one’s self (petition) or for others (intercession). In the latter, it is an act of worship which covers all soul in its approach to God. Supplication is at the heart of it, for prayer always springs out of a sense of need and a belief that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). But adoration and confession and thanksgiving also find a place, so that the suppliant becomes a worshipper. It is unnecessary to distinguish all the various terms for prayer that are employed in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But the fact should be noticed that in the Hebrew and Greek alone there are on the one hand words for prayer that denote a direct petition or short, sharp cry of the heart in its distress (Psalm 30:2; 2 Cor. 12:8), and on the other “prayers” like that of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), which is in reality a song of thanksgiving, or that of Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, in which intercession is mingled with doxology (Eph. 3:14-21).

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

There are four things all Christians must know about prayer.

To have a good prayer life, you must have a good relationship with God. To obtain the good relationship, you must study God’s word and learn His will.

Be humble and contrite, God will be willing and generous.

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