Prayer is both the easiest and most difficult commandment given to Christians. Easy because it’s just a matter of speaking the words to God. Difficult because it requires a trust in God and a willingness to let him work in your life.
But, why is prayer important? Prayer involves many aspects of belief, trust, and obedience.
· Prayer allows us to communicate with God.
· God tells us to do so.
· Jesus gave us the example of prayer.
· Prayer succeeds above all else.
· Prayer gives us power.
God knows what we need before we ask, yet he still calls us to come to him in prayer. This shows us the importance God places on prayer.
Types of Prayer
There are five types of prayer we’re called to speak. This involves prayers of worship, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession. Even in the model prayer, you can see each type of prayer introduced.
Matthew 6: 9-13- In this manner therefore pray,
Our father in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
The prayer starts with worship of God’s greatness.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
You move into prayer of petition, asking God to meet your needs. This also involves an understanding that it’s God that does meet those needs.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
You’re asking for forgiveness and help forgiving others. This acts as both petition and intercession for others.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
You once again petition God for help with our daily temptations. This also acts as thanksgiving, knowing that God does deliver us.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
You end the prayer with both worship and praise.
Why is Prayer Important?
Prayer allows us to participate in the work of God. It allows us to connect with and understand the will of God. When we give prayer its importance, we do our duty and draw closer to God.
Prayer Allows Us to Communicate with God
First and foremost, prayer opens communication between us and God. This acts as the way we receive God’s will and help.
2 Chronicles 7:14- 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God wants us to speak to him. He wants us to come to him with our joy and our sadness. He wants us to come to him when we have needs and when we have thanksgiving.
When we’re willing to open up that communication, we allow God to work through us. He waits for us to make that first move.
God Tells Us to Pray
Possibly the most important reason to pray is that God tells us to do so. Prayer acts as a form of obedience to God. No matter what’s going on, obedience through prayer brings us closer to God.
Ephesians 6:17-18- And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication…
God tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). By praying we obey God and reduce anxiety. God wants us to trust him in all things.
Philippians 4:6- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
We fulfill part of our Christian duty through prayer. This acts as our way to join in the faith with other saints.
Follow Jesus’ Example
We can also know that prayer is our duty because Jesus gives us that example. In all things Jesus, our example in faith, went to the Father with supplications and thanksgivings. He would go off by himself to spend time with his Father.
Matthew 14:23- And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
Jesus took every opportunity to go to God. He spent time seeking the Father at all times. He would spend hours in prayer.
Luke 6:12- Now it came to pass in those days that he went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Just as God commanded, Jesus maintained prayer without ceasing. He gave us the example to go to God in all things.
Prayer Can Succeed Above All Else
Even when we see no way out, God always has a way. When we stubbornly try everything else, and fail, we can rest in the assurance that God has power to succeed where everything else does not.
Luke 11:9-10- So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Prayer is more powerful than we give it credit. When we ask, in the name of our savior, we know that God will answer those prayers. God gives us power through the blood of the Son.
John 16:24- Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
God wants to answer our prayers. He wants to help us succeed in the toils of this life. He wants us to succeed so that we may meet him in eternal life.
Prayer Gives Us Power
So often we let the worldly things have power over us. The truth is, God is more powerful than any power of this world. We need that power of God to succeed against the powers that want to attack us.
Ephesians 6:12- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
While those dangers are powerful, God is more powerful than anything that can get thrown at us. If we put our trust in him, we can succeed against anything.
1 John 5:14-15- Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him.
The power isn’t in us. The power is in God. As long as we ask with faith, we have access to that power. God will give us wisdom to deal with anything.
James 1:5-6- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like the wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
The power comes from trusting God. It comes from believing that he can defeat all things.
Trusting in the Power of Prayer
Jude 20-21- But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Prayer keeps us in the shelter of God’s power. By prayer we can rest assured in our relationship with the Lord, seeking the wisdom for eternal life at any time.
Do you want more tips for leaning on God? Check out the other tips for the Christian lifestyle on my blog.