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Opinion

Opinion

Faith Forum: Do you have to pray daily to be a good Christian?

March 2, 2013

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Depends on what you mean by ‘pray’

The Rev. Kara Eidson, minister, Wesley KU, 946 Vermont St.:

The answer to this question entirely depends on one’s definition of prayer. If a person defines prayer as kneeling at one’s bedside with hands folded and head bowed, then it is most certainly not necessary to pray daily to be a “good” Christian. The actual practice of prayer can (and indeed, ought) to go far beyond such simple childhood rituals.

Some Christians break prayer down into five basic categories: adoration, expiation, love, petition and thanksgiving. But I feel even these basic five categories limit the potential for prayer. Prayer is any intentional activity that allows a person to commune and communicate with God. Prayers can be sung, or drawn, or written. The practice of meditation is an important aspect of prayer, in which we simply center our hearts and minds on the Divine, and allow God to speak to us through the still and quiet place created within our hearts.

At its most essential, think of it like this: strong relationships take work. The best marriages only survive when both people are invested; in a good marriage, both spouses understand that time, work, and effort must go into the relationship to make it a successful one. Good relationships do not simply just “happen.” We can easily extend this understanding to our relationship with God. We cannot hope to be molded and shaped, to understand the heart of God, or to learn about God if we do not invest in that relationship. So, in the end, the simple answer to the original question is “yes” — we must make time in our lives every day for God in order to become the person we have been called to be through Jesus Christ. In the words of Irenaus, “The glory of God is the human fully alive!”

— Send email to Kara Eidson at kara.eidson@ku.edu

Praying is relationship-building

Pieter Willems, senior pastor at Mustard Seed Church, 700 Wakarusa Drive:

Let me start answering this question by asking one. As a Christian, why would you not want to pray daily? God is for you, loves you, forgives you, guides you, cares deeply about you, has a plan for your life, wants the best for you, will bring good out of the worst and will always be with you. In other words, God wants to bless you in every area of your life. We can experience this blessing when we discover His will and obey His will in every area of our lives. Prayer is how we build relationship with God. When we build relationship with God we will find His will for our lives and be blessed by Him.

I have been married now for 38 years. I don’t have to talk to my wife every day, but it sure makes for a better relationship when we communicate on a daily basis. If we want to know God and have a better relationship with Him, we have to talk to Him … prayer. But prayer is not just us talking to God, it is also listening. God wants to talk to us! Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice.” Think of it, the Creator of this universe, Almighty God wants a personal relationship with you. He loves you so much that He wants to hear from you and then wants to talk to you about His will, His best, for your life. You don’t have to pray every day, but if you want God’s best for your life, why would you not want to pray every day!

— Send email to Pieter Willems at pwillems@mustardseedchurch.com

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