I used to be lax with my prayer life. I would have good intentions and start off strong, but keeping it up and following through didn’t do so well. I knew prayer was important, but I never understood it fully other than using it for asking God things. I never understood the impact it could have on my walk with God. When people would ask for prayer, I would say ‘Of course I will pray’, but then the majority of the time I would forget.
A few years ago, my relationship with God took a dramatic turn for the better. Along with that came a change in the way I viewed prayer. Wow, what a difference it has made. I have come to have a passion for praying, especially for others. We literally can never pray enough. I now have continual conversations with God throughout the day. Though I do use an extensive prayer list, I am always finding more I can pray for.
If you do not have a full prayer life then your relationship with God is definitely lacking something. When you don’t pray consistently, your relationship with Him is limited and in turn will end up to be very shallow. Why? Because relationships cannot survive without communication and prayer is communicating with the Father.
When we pray five things happen. These are necessary for keeping our relationship growing strong and as a result we benefit from doing so. Prayer is much more than just asking God for things. It is a defining aspect of our relationship with Him.
1. Prayer puts you in a place of submission to God.
However you begin your prayer to God, whether you say ‘Our Father’, ‘Heavenly Father’, ‘Dear God’, ‘Abba’ or something else; the opening line shows that you are acknowledging Him as above you; in a position of authority, having the ability to fulfill your request. It puts you in a place of submitting yourself to Him, being open to His answering your prayers in HIS time, in HIS way, and according to HIS will. Even Jesus prayed in submission to God.
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” …Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
Matthew 26:39, 42
2. Prayer engages our faith and our trust.
It takes faith to pray. From the first word to the last, when we pray our faith is involved. Putting our needs in the hands of the Father shows our trust, which grows as we gain confidence (faith) that He will answer.
And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing 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.
1 John 5:14
3. Prayer cultivates a servant’s heart.
Prayer is the backbone of the church. Without it, the body of Christ cannot stand; cannot survive. As believers, lifting up others through prayer benefits us as well as the ones for whom we pray. You will find that when you bring their needs, as well as your own, to the Father, your spirit is lifted and filled with love. This is exactly what Jesus taught and showed His disciples about serving others. We are to serve God and other believers , in love.
Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
1 Corinthians 10:24
4. Prayer opens us up to receive comfort, love, and joy from God.
As we continue to pray, it keeps the lines of communication open. When we seek His will for our lives, He will answer. As our faith grows, our prayer time will deepen, showing more confidence, more peace. When we see God answering prayer, our trust in Him grows giving us comfort. Even when we do not see answers coming right away, our faith and trust in Him allows us to wait in peace, knowing that in His time, according to His will, He will answer. Through your prayer time, your christian walk with God will deepen and your heart will begin to overflow with the love of God. It will even be evident in your daily life with others. You can’t have such a close walk with God without it showing.
I sought the Lord and He heard me and
delivered me from all my fears.
Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
5. Prayer brings forth praise and thankfulness.
When we call up God for help, giving Him praise and thanking Him should be a natural part of our prayer time. We give Him praise for who He is, anticipating that He will handle our requests. We can also thank Him for the requests He has answered and for those He has yet to answer. Developing an attitude of praise and thankfulness helps us put others before ourselves, as more and more we can leave our needs and problems in the hands of the Father and concentrate more on the needs of others. God is good, so willing to help us; we should never stop praising and thanking Him.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
To stay consistent and serious about prayer requires commitment and sacrifice, but in return, as you can see, it does a lot for us. Once you develop this into a daily habit, you will begin to see changes in your attitude toward God and others. The Holy Spirit will be able to use you in a more productive way; enhancing your walk with God.
Until next time, God bless