THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
By Glenda Ward
In the prayer, we know as the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gives some important principles for us to follow when we communicate with God through prayer. There are some key points to Spiritual growth and development through prayer. In Jesus’ teaching, He gave the Lord’s Prayer as a model for prayer to His disciples.
Our Father in heaven is our God. “For I am the Lord, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45).
Prayer Point 1
“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed it be thy name.”
The Lord’s name is Holy. We are made in the image of God; God is Holy, and in every part of our life we are to seek to be holy in His likeness.
Prayer Point 2
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”
In Heaven’s way, we are to align our hearts, our minds, and our wills in God’s likeness, and from this will our right Christian actions begin to grow. We are to keep God in center stage in our inner being – our soul; staying focused on God and making Him the center of our life.
Prayer Point 3
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
We are to be truly and fully dependent on God confessing our need and relying on His promise as our source for all provisions in our life. Everything we have comes from God.
Prayer Point 4
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
If our relationship with God truly aligns with God’s ways, then our earthly relationships and our Spiritual life will be intricately interwoven with God in His likeness.
Prayer Point 5
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
In our world today, just as there has always been, distractions and temptations are thrown at us from all directions. We, as Christians are to choose to turn and walk away from all things that go against God and His teachings. Satan is the master at disguising pleasurable acts and situations. He is a mastermind at manipulating and enticing wrongful situations and circumstances. We are to safeguard ourselves against that evil power! Stay focused on God.
Prayer Point 6
“For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.”
All things that we do should ultimately be for the Glory and Worship of God. We are to strive to grow Spiritually, being mindful of who we are in Christ and our Christian daily walk with the Lord. We are to be humble in how we consider ourselves and mindful in how we consider and seek God and His Kingdom. In all things, we do we are to praise, honor, and glorify God and His Holy Name.
There is nothing more important than prayer to help us grow into mature Christians. Prayer is the way of developing our spiritual walk. Sometimes God does not answer our prayer and the Holy Spirit lets us know there is some sin in our life whether it be selfishness, jealousness, pridefulness, or even more. Read Romans 8:26.
Prayer is Our Relationship with God
If God answered prayers automatically, there would be no growth. If we never prayed, there would be no dependence on God. The wisest thing we can do is learn how to pray. Prayer is God’s way of drawing us close and bonding us to Him. Christians connect with God when we pray. Prayer is our relationship with God. We are to put everything before our heavenly Father when we pray. Nothing can be hidden from God when we pray. God reveals Himself to us when we pray, therefore prayer is educational. As we pray the Holy Spirit brings strength and encouragement to us.
Even Jesus Prayed in Private
Jesus was a popular teacher. People gathered in multitudes to be near Him and to hear His teachings. But among the people, Jesus withdrew at times to pray in private. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thy hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly,” (Matthew 6:6). Jesus preached what He practiced.
When we pray in private, we are seeking only God. Praying in private is the key to a personal private relationship with God. “Continue in prayer and watch in the same with Thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). We are to devote ourselves to prayer. Paul the apostle stressed the importance of prayer. We are to devote time in prayer. God’s Word in Scripture and prayer work together in binding our relationship with Him. God speaks to us through His Word and through prayer we speak to Him. Prayer should never be neglected. Prayer is a means of obtaining Spiritual and physical satisfaction in life. Prayer helps us stay focused and is also our weapon against Spiritual attacks.
Prayer and Supplication
Paul tells us we need to “be watchful” and to “be thankful”. When in prayer we need to be alert, completely engaged with our hearts and our minds. To stay awake to the mental attitude of expectancy. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and “watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:18).
Prayer is Spirit-enabled and Spirit-directed. Supplication in prayer bears a Spirit of reference and devotion with it. A solemn prayer that should be made with clear focused minds and hearts. “And above all these things put on charity, which is the “bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:14). Paul also says we are to “be thankful” in prayer. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:15). “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).
Growth Through Prayer
As you pray remember prayer will not always change our troubles and circumstances in life, but prayer should transform us. Prayer should change us from within. Prayer takes practice and discipline and it is not just the work of the person praying! Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ is working right alongside us when we pray. Your Spiritual growth takes place during times of prayer. You grow when you take the time to spend quality time in God’s presence talking to Him.
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more from Glenda HERE.