A sincere conversation with God

Prayer is speaking to the living God. Like all communication, it is addressed to someone who can listen and respond. The Bible shows a multitude of different forms of prayer.

The Psalms are a school of prayer with an impressive collection of prayers of thanksgiving, praise, supplication and lamentation. In them all human feelings, impressions and experiences are expressed before God: enthusiasm, gratitude, hope, joy, humility, despair, fear, discouragement and anger. All of these prayers highlight the feeling of trust that one is not alone in one’s particular life situation but is being heard, is safe and is learning to understand. One can also pray without words, when all words fail. Prayer is then less a form of speech than an attitude with which people stand before God and know that they are safe with him. What happens to those who pray is as much a mystery as the presence of God himself.

Prayer can be done individually or in fellowship. There is no such thing as a perfect prayer. What is much more important is that it is sincere and earnest. The ‘Our Father’ – a prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples – is considered the Christian prayer par excellence, and thus naturally belongs in worship.