God’s zeal for His house – Defining prayer

*** This article is part of a blog series by a Guest AuthorNic Thackwray. It is a journey into understanding better God’s Zeal for His House. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***

So prayer is strongly on God’s heart as we saw last week. But what is prayer? This may seem like it has an obvious answer, but it is likely that God’s view of prayer is immensely bigger than ours and so to adventure into knowing God, we better try get the true nature of prayer right in our thinking.

I will quote a scripture that I think portrays the purist example of prayer that a human (other than Jesus) has ever experienced. This will be our benchmark.

“Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face,
as a man speaks to his friend.”
Exodus 33:11

There you have it. True prayer exists in many different places and forms, but here we see it the way I believe it was meant to be…friendship with God. It’s the garden of Eden all over again.

So I guess now would be the time to take a bash at my own definition of prayer. Here it goes: prayer is “friendship with God in action.” Let’s focus in a bit more. An earthly and human friendship exists because it is acted out. It involves a wide variety of trusting and affectionate communications of love and support between two individuals, both verbal (like talking) and non-verbal (like smiling and chilling together). In our relationship with God it should be no different. Therefore I believe prayer can involve things like (to mention only a few) thinking about Him, feeling trust in Him, being in awe of Him, worshiping Him, crying with Him, laughing with Him, listening to His voice, admiring His creativity, thinking about ways to please Him, enjoying His presence and last but not least, talking to Him. If it’s intentional communication with God, whether verbal or non-verbal, then it’s prayer. Let’s look at that Scripture from Isaiah again, with this new definition in mind:

“…for my house shall be called
a house of prayer [friendship with God in action] for all peoples.”
Isaiah 56:7

Sound like a place you’d want to be? Over the next few weeks we will see how the prayers of the saints are the Father’s mission, Jesus’ passion and the Holy Spirit’s work and then, finally, how it is our greatest purpose, the very reason that we exist.

Father, over these next few weeks, establish more true prayer in our lives for Your glory and our joy! Lord we want to know You face-to-face. We love You!

4 thoughts on “God’s zeal for His house – Defining prayer

  1. Nic

    I really like your ‘definition’ of prayer. It speaks of a multi-faceted relationship with God. Friendship in action.

    Funny how everything that we have on Earth is actually just here to teach us about God and how to know Him. And our relationships, and especially in this case, our BFF’s (best friends forever), cast a beautiful picture of how we can know our Lord. One could even say, that they are like the schooling for the real thing.

    If I take a look at my sister. She spends every spare moment with her BFF. Really. They go out to town together, they eat Wimpy together, they shop together, they chill out together, they stay over at each other’s houses. This morning, they even went to fetch their dreaded reports together. And then, when they are not together, they still mxit each other as well. It’s like they just can’t get enough of each other. It’s like they are inseparable. They see every moment as an opportunity to share their lives with each other. It is a beautiful thing to see. Joy, love, excitement, drama, a whole spectrum of emotions, thoughts and experiences coming to life between them. It’s like LIFE happens in the midst of their interaction. And I believe it is the same with us and our Lord.

    Life happens in the midst of our prayers and interactions with our Lord. Real true eternal life is what we experience when we interact with the Lord. Because that is what He is. Life. And He experiences joy and excitement when He spends time with us. Because it is what he has created us for. To give Him pleasure. We were made for Eden. Made for His pleasure. And that is where we belong. In the Garden of His pleasure (Eden). It is what we were made for. And it is what our Lord died to have again. That which He longs to have with us. The pleasure of passionate vibrant family-friendship.

    My prayer and passion is that He will have what He desires. A free and absolutely organic and spontaneous relationship with His family. One that is lead by Him and resembles that which we see on Earth in Families and BFF’s. 🙂

    May we so get a revelation of His desire, that our hearts will desire nothing else. That our lives will reflect and passionately pursue the reality of nothing other than His passion. That our personal and corporate lives will stand for nothing less than His heart, His passion, and His desire. So that in all things He may be preeminent. So that in all things He may have his ultimate and eternal desire, that He made visible to us in Christ. Family-friendship with man.

    I look forward to journeying with you and the other readers into the unfathomable depths of relationship in Christ. May it be a ride that changes us forever.

    In Christ


    1. Really well said…i had a similar revelation of how our prayer times are like the kitchens of our lives and you put it so plainly and beautifully that “that is where LIFE happens”…WOW..thats incredible!
      I am desiring that much of God in my own life too and i pray that He shows Himself to us…face to face!
      I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

      Bless You…X

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