Prayer is a conversation with God and prayer goes both ways. And that is the best thing about it. It is not enough to just talk to God, we must be able to spend time with Him so as to hear from Him.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5 KJV)
God invites us into a relationship with Him, not to just get stuff from Him. He invites us into His purposes and power – power to defeat the enemy, save, restore, strengthen, raise up, heal, glorify God, accomplish the impossible, bless, impart wisdom, secure peace, keep us from sinning, and reveal God’s will. When we see prayer this way, it becomes less of punching the clock and donkeywork and more joyful anticipation of how our Father will move the world for His glory and our good. Prayer is the glue that holds together the relationship between God and His people. God sometimes chooses to perform miracles because people pray. People are healed both physically and spiritually because of prayer.
Prayer is a Relationship
Prayer is based on God’s love for us. Through His grace, He gives us things which they do not deserve, while through His mercy He shields us from those things which we do deserve. Therefore, prayer is primarily a relationship with our heavenly Father (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). Prayer is deliberate and intentional communication that nurtures this relationship with the Father. It is our way of connecting daily with the living God and hearing Him tell us who He is and who we are. To neglect this privilege is to ignore God himself and miss out on a promised joy to every follower of Jesus. To lean into this relationship is just one way we let God how much we love him. When we love someone, we will make time for them. So, what are some reasons why we should pray? So, an invitation from and relationship with our Heavenly Father are foundational to understanding why we should pray. But, there are a few more reasons why followers of Jesus should pray.
Not only the pastoral prayer, but our silent prayers, the hymns and songs, the affirmations of faith, the prayer of confession, and the call to worship. Every part of our worship can be considered a form of prayer; talking to God, listening to what He has to say to us. We also know prayer is a necessary part of our daily walk, so we pray each day. We know there is power in prayer, so we ask each other to pray for our particular needs and us. Prayer is a gift that we can give each other. We can give prayer when we can give nothing else. We can ask God’s blessings, His intervention, or His will to be done, even when we do not know the specific details of what or for whom we are praying. Prayer is reaching out to God in faith, not only asking for His help, but giving Him praise and adoration.
When we read the book of Acts, we see the early church formed in the spirit of prayer. Jesus’ disciples and the many followers, both men and women, devoted themselves to prayer. The church was founded on prayer. Jesus slipped off many times during His ministry in order to pray. He felt that prayer was necessary in order to stay in touch with God’s will for His life and ministry. The disciples learned from Jesus asking Him, “Lord, would you teach us how to pray?” That is when Jesus gave them and us what we call the “Lord’s Prayer.” If prayer was that important to Jesus and the disciples of the early church, we should DEFINITELY consider it important to us as well.
The Importance of Prayer
Prayer is one of the highest benefits given to man. It is through prayer that we can communicate with our Father, the Almighty God, and Supreme Ruler of the whole universe.
What a great benefit it is to communicate with God every time! We do not need to have to set up a specific time or routine to communicate with God. Without doubt, prayer is marvellous. You need to realize that God is capable of giving answers to everything we ask. The Bible is plain and clear about what we ought to pray to God for. The Bible teaches that whenever we ask for anything in the name of Jesus, we receive answer. Praying just because we should pray isn’t enough, the truth is that prayer is significantly more than a way of life. It is about a relationship with God, You speak and You also listen to God. Prayer helps us to become more like Christ, and it opens up what the heart of God is to us.
Looking at the life of Jesus, we can see that He prayed with others,
“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:28 KJV)
Jesus prayed for others,
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbade them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:13-14 KJV)
Jesus prayed on his own,
“And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” (Luke 5:16 KJV)
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12 KJV)
Importance of Prayer Can’t Be Argued
Prayer was such an important thing to Jesus Christ and it was the connection He has with His Heavenly Father. It prepared Him for the challenges He was going to encounter. Through prayers, He kept a close relationship with the heavenly Father. It also revealed to Him what the desires of God were. If a Christian wants to be like Jesus, he/she must emulate His ways and live by His words. As we pray, we become more like Christ, and we will find that prayer helps us to become closer to Him. Prayer empowers us to become one with the Father and have the kind of relationship that Christ had with Him. The Bible is filled with stories that show how God wants to have a good relationship with Him, and communication is a vital tool in that relationship. If you have a friend, and it gets to a point where you start losing communication, you discover that friendship will suffer and never progress. Furthermore, since prayer is more or less a conversation with God, it is the means by which we get used to His ways. Prayer humbles us, and when we begin to carry that mind of humility, we understand how amazing and great God is and how much we really need Him.
God knows that we are not perfect and He accepts us as such, not because He wants us to remain like that, but He knows that His relationship with us helps our infirmity. He wants us to be humble before Him and realize that we are nothing without Him.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2 KJV).
God has promised that if we are humble, He will hear our prayer and forgive our sins,
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
God wants us to become more like Him and less like ourselves. And the best way to ensure this is through prayer. As we start to honor Him, we become more like Him. He knows that when we see His mercy and kindness towards us, we will extend that gesture too to other people. When we realize that we don’t pay for God’s grace, we discover that everyone is deserving of God’s grace, and this transforms us, helping us to know His heart towards others and how much He loves us. Before Jesus selected his disciples, He prayed all night,
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter), and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.” (Luke 6:12-16)
As we have talked about the importance of prayer, we must come to the realization that God must be at the centre of every decision we make in life. And the best way to ensure this is to always be in His presence – through prayer. Pray without ceasing.
Have a wonderful July.