[This article is also available in Urdu.]
I believe that prayer is one of the least understood and probably the least practised Christian discipline; and yet it can provide the most profoundly powerful and intimate connection with God, while achieving massive victories in both the physical and spiritual realm. It is too vital too ignore!
Prayer is Connecting with God
Prayer is essentially connecting with God. Ephesians 2:18 tells us that because of Jesus’ redeeming act on the Cross, we can have this marvelous access—connection—to God the Father, through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our spirit to connect with God, who is spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray, and who also intercedes with God the Father on our behalf (Rom. 8:26-27).
Praying God’s Will
Prayer is a powerful way of partnering with God in achieving his purposes. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus’ prayed to his Father and said: “Let your Kingdom come; let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This should be our prayer too.
I want to see God’s will being achieved in my life, in my friends’ lives, in the life of my church, and in my community; and prayer is where it usually begins.
Seeking God’s will and praying for it to be fulfilled can be exciting. I feel very close to God when I am joining with him in prayer for his power to be released and his will accomplished. God uses our prayers! (2 Cor. 1:11; Phil. 1:19).
The key of course is to discern and recognise God’s will. This can take time as we open our hearts and minds to him in prayer so that he can direct our thoughts. A word of caution here: to truly discern God’s will, you need to actually know God, and one of the best ways to do that is by spending time with him and reading the Bible (Hebrews 5:14).
I almost never think to myself any more—I “think” to God. I deliberately run all of my thoughts by God and I let him lead me and give me his thoughts. I know that God has given me ideas that I would never have thought up by myself, and I also know that God has redirected some of my ideas and made them conform to his ideas (1 Cor. 2:10-16). I have been amazed by the way God has answered some of my “thought prayers”. This, however, is just one way of praying.
There are no precise rules with prayer. Prayer is essentially spiritual, so as you begin to pray and connect with God, the Holy Spirit will help you. The Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you how to pray. Learning how to pray is a journey, as so many aspects of the Christian life are.
Prayer and Worship
In many ways, prayer is like worship as they both involve a spiritual connection with God. In Revelation chapter 5, we are given a glimpse into heaven. Verse 8 tells us about the four living creatures and the twenty four elders, each holding a harp and golden bowls filled with incense. We are told that the incense represents our prayers. Our prayers rise like incense into the very Presence of God. (See Psalm 141:2.) I believe that the harps may represent our worship. Our prayers and our worship reach God.
God values us, and our relationship and communication with Him; our prayers are precious to him! We need to engage God in prayer and worship because that is when God can engage us.
Find some time to engage God in prayer today. . . perhaps even now. . . he is always listening.
Some basic info on prayer here.
 Most of our prayers should be addressed to God the Father, in Jesus Name, with the Holy Spirit enabling our spirit to commune (or connect) with God’s Spirit. However we can also talk to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God hears us.