If there is one thing that all religions have in common, it’s prayer.
Even people who claim that they don’t believe in God pray at least some time.
According to scripture, God already knows what we need before we even ask for it (Matthew 6:8). So what’s the point of praying?
Today we will be talking about the importance of prayer in the life of a believer.
But before we can talk about the importance of prayer we must first define what prayer is.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is our direct line of communication between us and God.
Sometimes we make prayer complicated because we don’t pray like brother X or sister Y, but God doesn’t care about how you sound when you pray.
Prayer is simply you talking to God and Him talking back to you.
Yes, God does speak back to us! (but that’s another topic)
Prayer is not a one-way conversation between us and God.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”Jeremiah 29:12
He desires to speak to us as well.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”Jeremiah 33:3
If we take the time out to listen we can hear God speaking directly to our hearts, when we spend time with him in prayer.
We just have to remember that prayer is a two way street between us and God.
The Importance of Prayer
Why Should We Pray?
If God already knows what I need then why should we pray?
I think we’ve all struggled with this question at some point in our Christian journey.
This question stems from our own misunderstandings about the purpose of prayer that we learn from tv or maybe even our own home life.
That prayer is only used to bless the food and when we need or want something from God.
But prayer is about so much more than sending God our laundry list of needs and wants.
It is about submitting and humbling ourselves before our Almighty God.
Even Jesus, the Son of God, prayed.
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.Luke 6:12
This is not the only instance where Jesus left his disciples to go pray.
Prayer was a regular part of his life on earth.
If prayer was important to Jesus. How much more important should it be to us?!
Aside from praying because Jesus prayed.
Prayer also has many benefits for those of us who are followers of Christ.
The 6 Benefits of Prayer
1.Strengthens Our Relationship with God
In my opinion, this is the most important benefit of prayer. Being able to communicate with and build a relationship with God the Father.
The bible says that we should,”‘…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…’” (Luke 10:27, italics mine).
The only way that you can learn to love someone that deeply is to spend quality time with them.
God desires to have this kind of close relationship with us.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…James 4:8
Because we can build this close relationship with him our faith is strengthened daily to face the challenges of this life.
2. Helps Relieve Our Anxiety and Stress
Have you ever talked to a close friend about a problem you were having and afterward you felt better about the situation?
Praying to God is a lot like talking with our best friend. We can cast all of our cares and worries on him ( 1 Peter 5:7).
He will take our burdens and carry them so that we don’t have too.
This doesn’t mean that the problem is going to magically go away.
It does mean that we will have the strength to endure the situation until relief comes.
3.Provides an Opportunity to Confess and Repent of Our Sins
As humans, we sin daily none of us are perfect.
Remember God knows everything.
We don’t have to be afraid to confess our faults to him.
But it does take humility to admit what we have done.
Prayer gives us an opportunity to confess our sins to God and repent.
The beautiful thing about God is that even when we mess up He gives us an opportunity to make it right with him.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.1 John 1:9
He does not judge us or remind us of our past sins. People may remind us and try to condemn us, but God does not.
4.Allows us to Receive Direction From God
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.Psalms 32:8
When you pray and read God’s word he will give you direction and guidance.
He will not only guide us when we have to make big decisions but in our, every day lives as well.
5. Allows Us to Bring Our Petitions Before God
Finally, prayer allows you to bring your petitions or request directly to God.
Most of us are pretty good at this one.
Even though God knows our needs before we ask for them. He still requires that we come to him and share them with him.
It just like a parent with their children. We may know that they need help with something, but we don’t intervene until they come.
As Christians, we should take comfort in knowing that our Heavenly Father will supply all of our needs(Philippians 4:19) and that he hears us when we pray(1 John 5:15).
6. Prayer Changes You
One of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in my faith in Christ is the ability of prayer to change me.
Often when we pray we are praying for God to change someone or some situation.
We often fail to realize the changes that are happening in ourselves because of prayer.
Maybe your praying for your marriage because you and your spouse are constantly fighting.
Then one day, you notice that you don’t argue as much. You assume that it’s because God has changed him or her.
When in reality God has given you more patience and self-control so that you don’t respond to everything like you used to.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.Ezekiel 36:26
When we interact with God on a daily basis and we submit ourselves to him you can’t help but be changed.
As a believer in Christ prayer is our direct link to God the Father through Jesus Christ. It is an essential part of our spiritual foundation.
It is in prayer that we:
- Deepen our relationship with God
- Find Relief from Stress and Worry
- Find forgiveness through the confession of our sins
- Direction for our lives and
- Bring our needs to God
- and causes us to change for the better.
Without it, we will become weak and ineffective as Christians and our faith will slowly begin to crumble away.
Make a choice today to strengthen your spiritual foundation by making prayer a daily habit.
Maybe you don’t know what or how to pray.
Start with something simple like The Lords Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
Remember prayer is simply talking to God and allowing him to talk to you.
If your looking for more reasons you should pray check out this post 101 Reasons to Pray.
Maybe you don’t know how to pray or how to pray effectively. Check out this post on the 5 principles of effective prayer.
Now it’s your turn.
How has prayer benefited or changed your life? Do you struggle with knowing what or how to pray?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this important topic. Leave me a comment below.
If you missed the previous posts in this series click on the following links to catch up.
As always don’t forget to like this post and share it on social media!
Check back next week as we explore what the bible has to say about fasting.
Until Next Time,