I’m not sure what your personal thoughts or experiences with prayer are. But prayer is unavoidable.
In all cultures, through all eras of time, prayer has been a fundamental part of life. Prayer is a global phenomenon. Whether you are Islam, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or even an atheist, prayer is one of the most common practices in all walks of life.
Muslims pray five times a day to Allah. Jews have traditionally prayed 3 times a day, Christian prayer varies based on your tradition, Buddhists use prayer wheels, and Hindus pray for ultimate union with the Supreme Being. For those who claim no religion… Well I’ll send some good vibes your way. Tim Keller says, Prayer is one of the most common phenomena of human life. Karl Barth calls prayer our incurable God-sickness.
Prayer seeps into our cultures because deep down all of us long to believe that there is something greater. We want to believe that there is something beyond ourselves that we are able to connect with.
In fact, that’s what we see time and time again in the book of Psalms. We see God connecting with His people. The Psalms are ancient prayers from God’s people. And you can learn a lot about prayer just by spending a few minutes each day in the Psalms. For example, read Psalm 25 today. And as you read it, watch for these two truths.
Prayer is the ultimate path to self-discovery
In verses 1-7 look at how many times David cries out to God and trusts in God. He says things like, I give my life to you, I trust in you, you are the God who saves me, Remember your compassion and unfailing love, and do not remember the sins of my youth. Why does he say those things? Because anytime David approaches God, he’s confronted with the evil and sin that exists within his heart.
David realizes how helpless he is and that the only way to live and experience salvation is to trust in God. Modern meditation practices would tell you to go off and be alone and work through those thoughts. But prayer in the name of Jesus invites us to sort those thoughts out in the presence of a Holy God that we can trust.
So get rid of the Enneagram, the Meyer’s Briggs, and any other personality profile… Instead, spend some time in prayer before God and you’ll quickly learn who you are. But it’s more than just learning about who you are.
Prayer is the ultimate path to knowing God
When we pray, we are demonstrating and taking advantage of the access to God that we have been given. We are literally talking to the Creator of all that we see and experience everyday. And as we spend time with Him, we inevitably learn more about Him. Read verses 8-10 and see how much David recognizes about God.
As the Psalm progresses, we see David go through some intense spiritual battles. And every single time he cries out to God for salvation. Why? Because He knew that God was good, that God guides, that He does what is right, that God teaches, that He loves, and that He is faithful (see v. 8-10).
So why should you pray? Because in prayer you learn more about yourself and you learn more about God. And those just might be the two biggest questions that every human being asks… Who am I? And who is God?
The answer is waiting for you in prayer.