Updated: Mar 9, 2018
TIME magazine once had a cover with the headline asking, "Is God Dead?" Two days after its publication a reporter asked Reverend Billy Graham the question, "Dr. Graham, is God dead?"
Billy Graham immediately responded with a resounding, "No!" The reporter followed up by asking, "Well, how do you know?" The reverend sharply replied, "Because I talked to Him this morning."
How did he talk to God? Through prayer.
Why then is prayer such a misunderstood subject and so controversial? Prayer is simply a conversation between mankind and his/her Creator. Throughout the ages, we hear about prayer, and in many cases people simply don't understand prayer. For most, it seems like a one-way conversation where we petition God for our wants and desires - like a genie in a bible!
Others think prayer is our way of convincing God to do our will by "storming the gates of Heaven" to make our demands known. And then act defeated and disappointed when God doesn't answer the way we desire.
And then there are those who think prayer is only reserved for the most holy among us, and in order for our prayers to be heard, we must perform some scripted ritual or petition someone in a higher position to pray on our behalf.
The fact is prayer cuts out the middle man and gives us the ability to directly communicate with our Maker - the God of Heaven and earth - and receive a response. Prayer or communication with Jesus is not mental illness or even crazy (as ABC's The View co-host, Joy Behar called it after the Vice President stated he believes Jesus talks to him every morning)! After all, why would we expect for God to simply hear us but never respond? That would be crazy!
Call it what you want, but I know for a fact our Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, speaks to me and He's speaking to you, too! If that makes us crazy, then so be it.
How then should we pray effectively, in order to connect with the living God?
Here are some tips in understanding how to pray: