Prayer is like the gospel from the epistle to the Romans, in the shallows it is exceedingly simple, but it can go as deep as the ocean. Prayer can be heart-felt, intensely emotional, and thoroughly private, or cold, systematic, and all but completely distant from anything personal. If you are a Christian, have become a child of God through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and become clear as to how dead you once were to God, but now have been made alive to Him, then you probably know something of what I am talking about.
Good Christian teachers always advocate spending time in prayer with God, but what does a good quality time with God look like? In Daniel chapter 9 and verse 3 we read of him, “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said…”
What makes prayer simple is the fact that it is talking to God, and talking is a concept that every human being has a good grasp upon, at least at a rudimentary level. What I mean is all people communicate, but not everyone communicates really well. In fact, communication is one of the most difficult parts of life. As part of a race that is fallen and sinful we are very good at sowing fig leaves together and hiding from others, and ourselves, which makes misunderstanding one another a very easy thing to do.
We must pray to God on His terms if we are to pray effectively. For instance the scriptures teach us,
“…God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another…” (1 John 1:5-7)
In other words, we must tell the truth when we pray, and it is best to pray when we are not deceived about something. If we lie and do not practice the truth, we are told, we will not have fellowship with God. Our fellowship and prayer life by extension is diminished greatly by living a lie and not in the truth.
We are told by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:23 that Daniel was highly esteemed, which is found in the context of Daniel’s prayer of confession of sins and supplications. Daniel was highly esteemed for one major reason, he humbled himself before God. Daniel was like Josiah king of Israel when the Law of God was found and read to him; he tore his clothes, repented of his sins and the sins of his people, and sought to set things right, which is godly repentance.
Supplication is the internal state of humiliation and shame before the holy God of the Bible. You can find people all day long that say they believe in God and are “religious” in one way or another, but to find a person that is truly humiliated before God in a true and repentant way, now that person is harder to find to be sure. Generally speaking, the false religions of the world generate pride not humility in their participants. They set a false assurance in the heart of their hearers as they tell them they are good, or by religious observances they can become good.
Through supplication the person praying recounts his life from God’s vantage point, that is the Bible, and prays the Bible back to God. He identifies with the sins recorded in the Bible as we all receive a sin nature from our oldest father Adam, and then repeating his sin by our own choice. Sin is a bondage that makes us all accountable before God. The sin of all sins is rebellion born out of pride. “When you eat of the tree you shall be as God discerning good and evil, so said the devil said. Eve bought his lie and so do we every time we sin.
If you want to be highly esteemed by God the humble yourself in His presence, take responsibility for the sins that you commit, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse you and make you whole. ““For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)