The Secret to Finding Joy in Prayer
How does one find joy in prayer?
Contrary to popular belief, the life of a believer doesn’t have to be dull and dreary. In fact, there are simple joys that can be found in the life of a believer, and “prayer” is one of them. But to know how a simple thing like a prayer can be enjoyed, we must first understand it for what it is.
Well to put it plainly, “prayer” is a discourse, put across as a form of communication and a conversation between two parties. Just like how our communication and conversations with those around - be it family or friends - allows us to create connections with them, prayer then becomes the very thing that connects us and God. And in the same way that conversations with others bind and defines our relationship with them, so in the same way does prayer serve to bind and define our relationship with God.
Now, taking for example the different layers and types of conversations we have with our loved ones or those who journey with us in life. Just as there are many different elements and expressions that layer our everyday conversations, prayer holds a similar function as it does in our conversation with others. It becomes the avenue not just to express our joy and happiness, but also the avenue to express our grief, pain and disappointment in our journey with Him. And though Prayer is often thought of as the Christian way to give thanks for what has been received, and often thought as the way of seeking and asking of the Lord, what Prayer ultimately leads us to is an avenue of expression towards God.
One example that I think best encapsulates the joy of prayer, comes from 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, where we see Paul having pleaded to God three times in prayer to remove the thorn in his flesh, but God replied to him saying that His grace would be sufficient for him. It is interesting to note that this is the great apostle Paul praying and asking God for help - he is pleading his case and request here. And though Paul seeks God with a request for something, he ends up being able to accept the answer of God’s rejection. Yet, it is through prayer that he came to understand God and rely on the sufficiency of God to carry on in his journey.
So, what then does prayer mean to us as believers? Prayer becomes that avenue of expression that leads us to lean on God. - the One who desires to journey with us. And the real enjoyment - the real joy in prayer- therefore comes from knowing that we have a God that sincerely desires to journey with us and will be there for us through that journey.