The Function of Prayer


The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
~Soren Kierkegaard (goodreads.com)

Praying hands. Freeimages.com

Prayer is the conduit of relationship. It connects us to our Lord and Savior and to other believers. It changes us and gives us fertile ground to graze on. It feeds us, nourishes us, empowers us, and sustains us. When we pray we become one with the Lord. Throughout the years I have experienced how prayer has changed me from the inside out. When we are new believers, our prayers connect us, then as time moves forward, one day we pray and find ourselves at a new, deeper level of relationship with the Lord. As we mature and our relationship deepens, He is able to convey His wishes for us on a much deeper level.

As our nature changes internally, so too does our outer nature. We no longer view the world as we had previously. Since we see the world differently, we respond to situations, circumstances, trials and tribulations differently. We also look at the joyous moments in our lives differently. We begin to see the world through God’s eyes expressed through His Word.

I also believe our prayers become less myopic, and no longer singularly focused on self. We begin to focus on more than our needs and look at God’s world and it’s needs.

Young Woman praying. Freeimages.com

God directs our path through the Holy Spirit who resides in us, as well as through His Word. The Holy Spirit teaches us to focus on our prayers. It nudges our perspective and removes old bias, stereotypes and, hatred towards others.

Prayer provides spiritual empowerment. There is an article in Bible.org entitled, 7. Prayer #2: A Prayer for Spiritual Empowerment (Ephesians 3:14-21), in which the author shared that the “theme of this prayer is: “When you pray, pray boldly.”” As you do so, you are asking God to give you deeper understanding. As we mature, and our prayers become more selfless, they also become more bold. Bold prayers are a form of radical faith, a faith that does not falter or doubt.

This radical faith empowers us to be the soldiers and ambassadors He called us to be. When we pray, as Soren Kierkegaard expressed, our nature changes.

We cannot influence God, but we can, through prayer, influence the world around us through our actions, thoughts and deeds. We are empowered through the Holy Spirit to conform to the image of Jesus Christ, to be like Christ in all that we do. To reflect His Will in our actions, thoughts and deeds. Ultimately we change our nature through prayer and that change flows out into the world affecting others.

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