From the archives of Oral Roberts
First Thessalonians 5:17 says we are to “pray without ceasing.” I once told a friend that I love to pray, and he was amazed. “I never heard anybody say that before,” he said. “I’ve never thought of anyone loving to pray. To me, prayer is something I know I ought to do, but I never knew it was something I could love to do!” There was a time in my life when I did not love to pray either, but that was before I knew what prayer really is.
When Christians pray, we are bringing up the thoughts of our inner man, the desires of our spirit, to God who is a Spirit. Prayer is an attitude…a harmonizing of our inner man with God Himself.
Prayer is not always spoken in words. Sometimes it is a thought. If we hold a thought in our heart sincerely and it goes out toward the living God, it is a prayer. He is looking for the utter sincerity of our soul and the release of our faith toward Him rather than a volume of spoken words.
When I was a child, I would hear my parents talking to God as if He lived at our house. They were so natural about it! Sometimes they said just one word…”Jesus.” Other times they prayed a dozen words, or a hundred. I couldn’t understand this for a long time. Then when I was dying with tuberculosis, my mother said to me, “Son, you must pray.”
I told her I didn’t know how to pray. I remember her reply so well: “Oral, you don’t have to know how to pray. Talk to God out of your heart. Just tell Him how you feel.” So I began to do that, and as I talked to Jesus He became real to me. I came to recognize Him as the Source for my life and my healing. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, and ever since I have loved to pray.