The Importance of Prayer
To be an encouraging step toward a healthy relationship between God and His creation
as we continue to inspire a life of Prayer!
We never fail to prioritize the things in our life that hold the greatest importance. For instance, we set the alarm clock every morning to allow time for our shower, breakfast, and work schedule. Throughout the day we plan for our mealtimes, entertainment, and many other daily activities. However, prayer should be the most crucial part of our day. We need to make prayer our number one priority. If you won’t make time to pray you will not find time to pray.
Like all living things, whether its plants, animals, even friendships, if neglected it will die. Your relationship with God is no different, without an effective and meaningful prayer life your relationship with God will not grow. A lack of communication is the first sign of a dying relationship. When a husband and wife no longer openly communicate and take the time to talk to one another that marriage will not survive. Just as plants cannot survive without the nurturing of water and sunlight, relationships cannot survive without love, affection, and communication. When we pray we are communicating with the God of all creation.
If we spend quality time alone with God in the secret closet of prayer and allow him to speak to us in those quiet times, our love for him will be nurtured and our relationship with him will become fully developed. Our passion should be to enter into his presence daily. Leonard Ravenhill said, “There is no greater form of worship than prayer. A man will study when his head is hungry for knowledge and he will pray when his heart is hungry for God" (Ravenhill, n.d.). Chip Ingram (2007) talked about prayer in this way; "Prayer is deeply personal. It flows from a passion to know God. When a believer is intensely in love with the Lord, his or her prayers will begin with him and end with him” (p. 101).
Prayer is the method of conception for what God desires to birth in the life of every believer. Everything God does on the earth starts with prayer. In the book of Acts when God purposed to bring the Gospel to the gentiles, Peter was sent to a man named Cornelius. God brought these two men together through divine persuasion. Acts chapter ten gives us the entire account of how Cornelius saw in a vision an angel of God. The angel instructed him to send men to a certain city to find a man named Simon Peter. At the same time God gave Peter a vision concerning Cornelius. The Bible tells how these two men came together and Peter entered into the house of Cornelius and began to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word” (Acts 10:44, King James Version).
The Lord moved mightily in the life of Cornelius. Everyone there was astonished because the Gift of the Holy Ghost was given to the gentiles. The power of God not only touched the lives of Cornelius, Peter, and others in this story, but this event helped pave the way for all gentiles from that time until now to take part in the promise of God. Later in Scripture we read how God called the Apostle Paul to preach the Gospel to the gentiles (Acts 22:21). Before all of this took place however, we find both Peter and Cornelius in the same place, the place of prayer. In Acts 10:2, Cornelius is described as, “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.” In Acts 10:30-31, Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.” Peter was in prayer as well. Acts 10:9 says, “Peter went upon the housetop to pray.”
God used these men because they knew the importance of a consistent prayer life. Peter certainly knew this as well as anyone could. He was, of course, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. The disciples followed Christ and walked with him, they heard his teachings, saw his miracles, and witnessed first hand the compassion that the Son of God had on everyone he met. Luke 11:1 says, “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray…” They didn’t say, “Lord teach us to preach" or "teach us to heal the sick.” They knew that the ministry Jesus had on the earth was a direct result of the relationship he had with his father in Heaven, and that relationship was sustained through prayer.
The most technological advancements in history have been made in the field of communication. Mankind has always placed a great deal of importance on that area of life. From the days of the Pony Express to the modern surge of high speed Internet, communication has always played a vital role in our very existence. Prayer is communicating with God. In its simplest and purest form prayer is talking to God. Our communication with others is rewarded when our questions are answered, a request for information has been responded to, or we are comforted by knowing that someone cares enough to just listen. In prayer, whether it’s direction, knowledge, wisdom, instruction or comfort, God has promised that we can have confidence in him because he hears us when we pray (1 John 5:14). In conclusion, let us remember the words of Jesus in Luke 18:1, “…Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”
Ingram, C. (2007). Good to Great in God's Eyes. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
Ravenhill, l. (1994). Revival Lecture (audio sermon).