What is prayer?
It is communication with God.
People talk to God and hear from Him in prayers. It is the only way only people who pray that God has reserved for men to access Him.
Christians are not the only people who pray. The Muslims pray in mosques (up to five times a day) and the Hindu pray in their temples.
Friends communicate to keep in touch and sustain their friendship. They catch up on what happened since they last met and how beautiful it is when they are abreast with the lives of each other!
If you make an effort to communicate with your friends, why not make a proportionate effort to pray to God?
Being Prayer-less is the Enemy
We have one enemy whom we should train our guns on.
The enemy is prayerlessness. Many factors contribute to Christians losing their zeal in prayer.
What tops the list is the strong influence from a corrupt world.
Jesus knew this and warned his disciples.
“Go your way; behold I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:3 (NKJV).
Why should We Pray?
A prayer to a Christian is like a gun to a soldier. The reasons we should pray are:
1. Not to Enter into Temptation
The world is full of evil temptations that Christians are not exempted from.
Prayer is the weapon against temptations.
When Jesus took Peter, John, and James with Him to pray at the Mount of Olives before His arrest, He explicitly told them why they should pray. “When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:40 (NKJV).
It is better to pray before you enter into temptations rather than waiting to pray after you have already been tempted. You will succumb to temptations and give in to the demands of the enemy if you do not pray.
Do not assume that you are strong not to be tempted or you can withstand temptations in a prayer-less life.
Jesus included how to overcome temptations in the Lord’s prayer when He taught His disciples how to pray.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Mathew 6:13 (NKJV).
2. Submitting Our Requests to God
We all have the needs and desires of our hearts that we would like to be met.
We can tell them to God through prayer.
Although God knows our desires before we ask Him, He wants us to take the initiative of approaching Him with our needs.
Apostle Paull writes, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV).
Children tell their needs to their parents or guardians because they are responsible for them. Likewise, God is responsible for us and we should not shy from telling Him our needs.
To whom shall we turn to if not to God?
Our high priest, Jesus, also submitted His request to God when he was praying at Mount Olives.
Saying, “Father if it is your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42 (NKJV). Prayer is the only channel of telling God our needs.
3. To Receive Answers to The Requests We Submitted to God
Prayer is communication with God.
Communication is two-fold. After we have told God our requests, we wait for Him to answer in His own time. We receive answers to our prayers in the same way we submitted our requests to God.
We may wrongly conclude that our prayer is unanswered.
God could be waiting to answer us but we are not ready to receive His answer since we have ceased praying. There is no appointed time that the Lord will answer our prayers. We ought to pray without ceasing as the Bible instructs us.
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV).
When we are not patient in prayer, we may go out of the faith and seek answers through unorthodox means that the Lord has not approved. We will fall out of favor with God and face His wrath.
4. To Negotiate with God
God gives us a platform to negotiate with Him through prayers.
We have a chance to argue our case before the Lord and He shall grant us justice because He is just.
He told the Israelites through Prophet Isaiah, “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV).
When we live a prayer-filled life, we enter into the same wavelength of communication with God. We hear Him when He calls us and we have an opportunity to present our case before Him.
However, there is no chance to petition God when we fall out of a prayerful life. God will decide on issues that affect us without our input. We have no one to blame but ourselves for not being in the manner God requires of us.
5. To Ask for Forgiveness
The Bible expressly talks of our sinful nature.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (NKJV). We strive to live a Holy life that will please God and ultimately allow us entry into the kingdom of heaven.
We can repent our sins and iniquities before the Lord if we live a prayer-filled life.
Jesus emphasized repentance as He was teaching His disciples how to pray. “And forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Mathew 6:12 (NKJV).
Forgiveness is only possible through prayer. We free ourselves from the guilt of transgression when we repent before the Lord.
Likewise, when we pray, we forgive those who have wronged us. Prayer fosters peace between ourselves, those who have offended us, and God.
Failure to pray condemns us to a life of guilt and denies us entry to heaven.
In conclusion, the importance of prayer in our lives cannot be underscored.
It builds a healthy relationship between us and God. Moreover, God reveals His perfect will to us and we understand Him better.