We are living in very challenging times and more and more people are inclined to pray for different outcomes. Especially at a time like this it is important to understand the true nature of prayer.
The nature of prayer is misunderstood; many people see it as an opportunity to petition an unseen deity for benefits for self or others. This is unnecessary as Matthew reports, “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” So if prayer is not for petitioning “our Father” what is it for? We could then say that it is for thanking this deity for benefits bestowed. That may be helpful but does it really tell us about the nature and purpose of prayer?
If we follow the words in this text closely we are told: “Go into your inner chamber and shut the way into it.” This suggests that we will cease our outer activity and withdraw into ourselves and shut the way into it by stopping all the extraneous thoughts about our daily life. Or, we could continue our daily duties and stop worrying about life knowing that “our Father” is on the case. Then our life becomes continuously prayerful.
The word ‘prayer’ is proseuchomai: pros, meaning before or towards, and euchomai which means wish or would. A wish is an unfulfilled desire in our soul and the most powerfully unfulfilled desire in our soul is to know who we are and where we came from – our source. This state of being ‘before’ or pre-fulfillment of the wish, gives a sense of forward movement, of inner striving. Now we come closer to the meaning of prayer. Prayer is about our inner striving to know truth which, if we achieve it, will unite us with spirit; our personal spirit and the spiritual condition of the Cosmos. We could call this an inner communion. If we can achieve it we will be filled with a feeling of gratitude.” From “Who is Jesus: What is Christ?” Vol2
Painting: Trinity by Istvan Mufics