This week’s reading reminded me just how important prayer is in every aspect of a Christian’s life. Prayer is the tool/mechanism (for a lack of a better term), which allows man to commune with God. It is only through prayer that we can have a relationship with God. A relationship is what God desires to have with us. Throughout the Bible, we find God constantly seeking a relationship with his people. MaryKate Morse, in her book, A Guidebook to Prayer, explains that, “Being made in the image of God, we are designed for relationship with our Maker and with each other.” God enables mankind to interact with Him on a person and intimate level.
In my Christian experience, I have found there are two types of prayers: individual and corporate. Both are important in a person’s Christian walk and each plays a different role in the life of the individual. I believe that both are needed for a person to mature in their faith. In my earlier seminary studies at Wesley Biblical Seminary, I had an instructor that insisted we spend almost 2 hours per day in prayer. This time was not to be combined with any other ministerial work. I must admit, when I received this assignment I believed there was no way that I could carve out that much time in my day. Instead, I found out just how much time I waste each day that should be spent in time building my relationship with Christ. By the end of the class, I was spending over two hours a day in prayer. We seem to always find ways to do what we want to do, so our prayer time reflects our priorities.
Individual prayer is a personal time to commune with God, one-on-one. This is my time to go before my father and share my innermost thoughts, desires, failures, dreams, and hopes. It is where I confess my sins and ask for forgiveness. Christ is closer to me than my wife, children, mother, father, or friends. Proverbs 18: 24 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” When we spend time alone with Christ in prayer, He can work on changing our hearts to become more like His.
Corporate prayer, like you find in a church setting, can bring individuals into a communal relationship with God. When I am praying with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I often sense of the body of Christ worshiping before the throne of God. This style of prayer is powerful, as it allows all individuals to come together as one body to seek God on a wide range of issues. There is much power when many rise up their concerns to the Lord. Additionally, when the public can see that the church is united in prayer, God’s power is demonstrated to the world. Through Scripture, we see where God’s people prayed, he answered them.
 Morse, MaryKate. A Guidebook to Prayer: Twenty-four ways to walk with God. InterVarsity Press. (2013). Loc 318 Kindle.