Prayer is the key to so many facets of the Christian life that it is fair to say that we cannot overstate its importance. Prayer is communication with our Holy God and is necessary for confession, renewal, intercession and aligning our heart and mind with that of our Heavenly Father.
Our growth as Christians and our maturity as a disciple of Jesus is completely dependent on the quality and quantity of our prayer time. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing” meaning prayer should be something that we turn and return to as we go about our daily lives. Something as simple as a heartfelt “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day” or a sincere “Give me strength to get through this, Lord” works wonders for keeping us focused and in tune with our Father no matter what else is going on around us.
In the Process of Being a Christian I mentioned “developing spiritual ears” as a part of our growth. These little constant prayers encourage and hasten the growth of our “spiritual ears”. As we talk to God more frequently we get better at sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit and in understanding what God’s will for us is in each and every situation.
Praying also has the effect of bringing us into the presence of our Heavenly Father. While in the presence of God we gain understanding of who He is and begin to learn more about His perfect character. It is only when we have prayed our way into His presence that we truly understand how awesome and mighty He is and how much He loves and cares for us.
In God’s presence we cannot help but praise Him and give thanks and we also should not hesitate to be honest with Him about our trials and our shortcomings. God knows us better than we know ourselves because He created us, so honesty in our prayer life is the only way that real communication can happen. Without honesty in our prayers we are fooling ourselves and wasting our time.
We must open our hearts to God who wants to “supply all of our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV) and is simply waiting for us to ask and be open to receiving the blessing. The Lord wants us to realize that His ways are so much better than our ways and in learning dependence on Him we gain capability and become so much more than we could on our own.
Prayer, like any other discipline, is a learning process. The ingredients are simple. Sincerity, honesty, humility, submission and desire all play important parts. We must sincerely talk to God without wavering. We must be honest about ourselves and what we are praying about. We must come before God with humility and in submission to His will and His purpose. And we must desire to seek God with our whole heart because in doing so God promises that he will bless and reward us. Matthew 6:33 speaks to this when it says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”.
My desire is to commit to living Matthew 6:33. Prayer is an essential part of seeking God and must be where we start and end if we are to be successful as children of God. Let us pray for each other as we continue this journey together.