You would be hard pressed to find a professing Christian who wouldn't say prayer is a "good thing" but is prayer THE thing in your life? Is prayer your passion? Does communing with your Creator and Redeemer through prayer consume your thoughts throughout the day? Is prayer your first response to any situation, good or bad? Does a fervent, passionate desire to pray flow out of your heart?
IT SHOULD! Prayer is faithful obedience to God as we trust in Him to do what we cannot do!
Still, we struggle to pray for a myriad of reasons.
Oswald Chambers said it so well, "Remember, no one has time to pray; we have to take time from other things that are valuable in order to understand how necessary prayer is."
Here are six important reminders regarding prayer that should fuel our prayer life:
(1) We are commanded to pray! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 commands us to "pray continually." If we choose not to pray we are walking in disobedience to the command of God.
(2) Prayer is worship! Jonathan Edwards said prayer is an "acknowledgment of our dependence on him [God] to his glory." When we express our dependence upon God through prayer it ascribes value to Him and is, therefore, worship!
(3) God's people pray! Throughout both the Old and New Testaments God's people pray. Abraham prayed to God in Genesis 20. Moses prayed before leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Sampson prayed that God would return his strength one last time. Perhaps one of the most powerful images of prayer is Epaphras struggling on behalf of the Colossians in prayer (Colossians 4:12).
(4) God hears prayer! Psalm 65:2 boldly proclaims, "O you who hear prayer!" In 1 Kings 17 Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal as they attempted to pray to their false God. Again, Jonathan Edwards said it so well, "There is no other of whom it may be said, that he hearth prayer."
(5) Most prayer is done in secret! I recently did a quick survey of 17 occasions Jesus prayed in the gospels and only once do we see Jesus praying with his disciples. Every other time the gospel writer specifically tells something about Jesus withdrawing to a quiet place or going off by himself to pray.
(6) Prayer is an expression of faith! Prayer and faith are inseparable. You cannot genuinely pray without faith. Regardless of circumstances or perceived results - we pray by faith!
In the wonderful words of E.M. Bounds:
“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new
organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost
can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not
flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery,
but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.”