Prayer: What Prayer Recognizes

Hallmark greeting cards were invented by a man named Joyce. In 1910, Joyce Clyde Hall founded his company on the belief that his cards represented class, promised discretion, and would become a social custom. He showed amazing foresight as over the last century his cards have been purchased by millions to recognize every imaginable sort of occasion. We as believers are in the business of recognition as well. By prayer we recognize vitally important truth. The purpose of this article is to consider that truth.

When we pray we recognize a spiritual reality. We live in a world of dependence upon technology. Every day we are surrounded by people using their smart-phones, tablets, and now, even watches; they are eagerly connecting into a virtual reality that is only a click away. This reality of technology has become so commonplace that we are not surprised to see it occur anywhere we may be in our daily routine. How sad, in contrast, to consider the rarity of witnessing someone in public quietly bowing their head to connect with the wonderful spiritual reality of a heavenly Father Who eagerly anticipates our prayers. How wonderful is our privilege to take advantage of the honor and responsibility to pray. When we pray we recognize a spiritual reality that is greater than our technology or our timelines. When we pray we recognize the Source of eternal knowledge, Who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” When we pray we recognize the reality of the eternal God.

Prayer is the recognition of our relationship with God. We are “sons of God.” And joyfully and willingly we cry out to our Father. Consider the New Testament ideal for prayer as the Lord spoke of the publican standing afar off and crying for mercy. Clearly, we have much to learn from his attitude in how we should approach God to confess our sins. But consider how Paul would wonder when expressing the intimacy and closeness of prayer in his writing: “But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” Prayer is our method of communicating with our Father. How much He deserves our daily and continued recognition! How great is our need to be reminded, by prayer, of this relationship which far exceeds any we enjoy on earth!

When we pray we recognize our Redeemer. Remember how Ruth would lay at the feet of Boaz all night upon the threshing-floor? She sought to recognize her near kinsman. How great is our Redeemer and how worthy of our recognition. Paul’s prayer of recognition to the Redeemer was, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” We agree with Paul; an ocean of words can never express the greatness of our Redeemer. Yet, prayer is our daily and continuous manner of expressing our devotion and appreciation to the One Who has redeemed us with His own precious blood.