Prayer is one of the most important activities in our lives. We have the ability to actually speak to the God who is the Creator of all things.
God understands how we feel, He knows what we think, and He has the power to step into our lives if we only ask Him to. Yet knowing this, it is surprising at just how little we pray during the day. When times are good, we either forget to pray or think that we do not need to. Worse yet, in our untrusting ways, we doubt that God will bother to listen to us or maybe even that He is incapable of answering our prayers, so why bother?
One of the biggest things that stop us from praying is the very reason we need to pray and that is sin. We know when we have areas in our lives where sin still has a foothold over us and therefore we feel like God is going to clobber us for continuing to sin, so it is just better not to pray for anything that to get beat up.
But again, that is wrong thinking. God is never truly mad at us, simply disappointed that we will not turn to Him as the friend He really is to us. We should never fear coming to God in prayer about anything, especially for help in the areas where we do struggle with sin.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica who were suffering under Roman domination and he told them to, “Pray without ceasing”. In other words, prayer should be a priority in our daily lives.
What does it mean to pray without ceasing?
Paul was not saying that we should continually mumble prayers every minute of the day. “Without ceasing” means frequently throughout the day we should be talking to God. Unceasing prayer should become a way of life, not an occasional occurrence when we are in trouble and treat God like He were some genie in a bottle. God wants us to focus our attention on Him consistently.
For instance, in the morning we could ask the Lord for guidance, strength, and wisdom for the day ahead. Or perhaps on the way to work, we talk to Him about the challenges we’ll face and thank Him for a safe trip. Throughout the rest of the day, we make requests, seek His direction, and give Him thanks until we finally climb into bed.
God is ready and willing to listen and answer our prayers.
We can’t say anything to the Lord that He doesn’t already know. He’s not sitting in Heaven being secretive about His will for our lives or reluctant to answer our prayers. God proved His love for us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our salvation, and He continues to demonstrate His love by being interested in every facet of our lives.
In Luke 18:1-7, Jesus taught a parable about a judge and a persistent widow, which reminds us that God always hears our prayers and provides for our needs. If we are His children, we don’t have to beg Him to listen to us, nor do we need to feel unworthy. We don’t deserve His mercy, grace, and love, but He freely gives it because of our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
Devote yourself to prayer.
Scripture repeatedly tells us to devote ourselves to prayer (Col. 4:2). Devotion requires that we not only set aside uninterrupted time for prayer, but that we also think seriously about what we’re asking. We must give God the time and attention He deserves in order to have a growing relationship with Him.
Prayer is our most profitable activity.
The time we spend with the Lord affects our lives in a variety of ways.
- It’s the method God uses to meet our needs
- He comforts us in our times of trial and heartache by assuring us of His presence with us and His willingness to help us.
- Prayer is a channel through which we build an intimate relationship with God and sense His unconditional love for us.
- The Lord strengthens us in times of temptation as we believe His promises and seek His help.
- God is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness as we confess our sins to Him in prayer (1 John 1:9).
- Prayer is our source of guidance as we seek the Lord’s direction and listen for His instructions.
- God helps us understand His Word as we read and ask Him to speak to our hearts.
- Prayer is a shield that protects us from anxiety and worries when we remember that He has full control and provides the grace we need in every situation.
- Through prayer, the Lord gives us courage and confidence to face challenges, and reminds us that He puts sovereign limitations on the burdens we carry.
- Prayer brings God’s emotional and physical healing as well as guidance when we’re confused about the hurts we experience.
- We receive the Holy Spirit’s power, which strengthens us to face difficult situations. n Prayer can impact other people anywhere in the world because it creates a holy triangle between us, God, and whomever we pray for.
I hope you will begin to try to make prayer a habit in your life. Think of God as your true friend who is with you constantly. You would never ignore a true friend, and if you did, they would not hang around very long for sure. We certainly want God to remain with us and never leave us, so why not start bringing Him into your life through daily prayer?
Pastor Brad Komgenick