Prayer is the beginning.
But we are obviously not talking about written liturgical prayer. Nor are we talking about the common gimme lists. This is prayer as it is defined in Christian terms, a dialogue—talking back and forth, a conversation. Like teachings about knowing God, teachings and examples of true, powerful prayer are rare. Part of the problem is that most of this type of communication is consummated in the privacy of a person’s “prayer closet”. In fact, in Matthew 6:6, Jesus tells that we are to pray in secret and that the Father will answer in secret.
The second definition of prayer on dictionary.com is a good place to start in understanding prayer:
A spiritual communion with God: as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
Here’s some quotes to help us:
“Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part.” [Andrew Murray]
“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” [Oswald Chambers]
“Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.” [R. A. Torrey]
Communication is the bedrock upon which knowledge and intimacy are built. The need for prayer cannot be over-emphasized. Communion with God is the core of our being. Prayer is a lifestyle, a constant communication. You need to be continually talking things over with God. This is the meaning of Paul’s command:
Always rejoice, pray without ceasing, giving thanks in everything… [I Thessalonians 5:16-18]
We see this in common everyday speech, “She’s constantly watching TV.” “He’s always talking about football.” We are talking about a person whose focus is clearly seen. For believers, this focused center of your being must be prayer—communication with God.
“He or she’s always praying.”
This type of prayer takes quite a while to develop. It takes practice, experimentation, and persistence. Very few start out praying this way—and many who do start this way have it trained out of them by religion.