Since the beginning of time, praying has always been present. From praising God through prayer to mourning over things while asking Him for mercy, the Bible has showed us how people from the past shaped the history of our faith through prayer.
We’ve read how they gathered and prayed. They prayed during the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:42). We saw the power of prayer when Paul and Silas were freed from jail after an earthquake shook the prison in which they were being held (Acts 16:25). We’ve also read how Paul constantly encouraged the early churches to pray for one another. Even after the Apostolic era, specifically during the time of the Reformation, a time when Christians were forced to stand up for their rights to worship freely and even die for their faith in Christ, there was never a day that went by without them praying to their Heavenly Father. Praying was always a part of their lives.
Then comes along the modern era: We thought we’ve mastered communication through our latest technology. But sadly, with the birth of these new trends came the drastic fall of many Christians’ love for intercession.
Some may say that we are a fortunate generation because of the new forms of communication that have been made available to us. Thanks to the internet, we have the power to connect with people all across the globe. We’ve chatted and laughed with these people with every new photo and video that has been uploaded. But with the rise of these advancements has also come the worst consequence, a consequence that just about every Christian has to deal with, and it is the crippling pull of devaluing prayer.
How is it possible that we never go through a day without checking Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and yet we so often forget to pray?
In these times, when the worldly schemes and the pull of our flesh is so great, we have to remember these five reasons as to why prayer is important to every Christian:
1) Praying is a way of worshipping God
“But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble” – Psalm 59:16
Praying is not just a means of telling God what we need or want. Through prayer, we utter our deepest worship and awe in God’s majesty and Kingship. In the book of Psalms, we’ve read how King David worshipped and prayed to God, all at the same time. This clearly shows that prayers are not just for our requests, but also a means of worshiping and glorifying our God.
2) It is the will of God for us to pray
God knows what’s best for us. He knows that through intercession, our spirit can benefit from it. Now, think of it this way: if God didn’t want us to pray, then why did Jesus Christ teach His disciples how to do so (Matthew 6:9-13)?
And since the will of God is never a mystery in the heart of a true believer, we know from Christ’s example that it is the will of God for us to pray. Jesus Christ is now interceding in heaven on our behalf (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25), and the Holy Spirit is interceding for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26-27).
Throughout the Bible, our great Triune God has revealed to us the importance of prayer. If He has made such a big deal about prayer, then why aren’t we making it one?
3) Daily prayer will strengthen your relationship with God
Prayer is the most valuable type of communication possible. Our phones and internet can limit us in our communication with other people, but through prayer, we have a consistent connection to God. We never lose signal or have a bad connection when we’re talking to God. The feeling that modern technology gives us cannot even begin to compare to that which we receive from prayer.
Have you ever tried going throughout your day without every speaking to God, without asking Him for strength? You will surely end up feeling empty at the end of the day. Now, imagine going an entire week without prayer!
You can’t be a Christian and go on neglecting the value of prayer. Your faith and prayer life should always go together. We are called ‘Christians’ because it is through Christ that every aspect of our faith has been made possible. Our communication with God has been made easy because of Jesus. When Christ died on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). This symbolizes that we are now free to pray directly to God through Jesus Christ as our one and only mediator; we no longer have to go through a priest.
4) There is joy in praying to a living God
As sinful human beings, we always have the tendency to try and glorify ourselves as much as possible. All the advancement that we are making right now is with the purpose of finding something that gives us pleasure. We’ve searched from the depths of Earth to the farthest parts of the universe to find something that satisfies our knowledge and gives us joy.
But as Christians, we have to realise that the greatest joy and pleasure lies in knowing and loving God. And one way of getting to know God better is through communicating with Him constantly.
Prayer, in itself, may not be pleasurable because pagans also pray to their idols. But for those of us that pray to the one true GOD, the joy will absolutely overflow. There is joy that comes as the result of knowing that we pray to a God that hears every single word we say. But it gets even better… The same God that hears all of our prayers also answers those prayers.
We are truly blessed because we pray to a living God. May that fact alone be enough to give you happiness in every moment that you utter your prayers to Him.
5) Others need our prayers
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20
Most Christians know that verse by heart. We have been taught since the day that we accepted Christ as our Saviour that our lives are no longer about us, but about Him. We know that we glorify God by being selfless, and one way of doing that is to think of others every time we pray.
Prayer was not crafted for our own selfish desires. It was made to remind us to depend on God each and every time, and that includes our dependence on Him on each and everyone’s salvation.
We cannot save people. It’s only through Christ that anyone can be saved. And since we have no power to save anyone, then we must call upon our God to show the people around us the same mercy and grace that He showed us.
Our flesh may lure us into thinking only about ourselves when we pray, but we must always remember that it is our duty to pray for other people. We were called for a purpose and part of that purpose is living our lives selflessly.
But in humbling ourselves every time we pray, we need to always remember that the willingness to pray for others does not come from our own strength. Because of our sinful nature, we naturally think of ourselves alone. This means that we don’t care if a certain person goes to hell or not. But since we have a new life through Christ our LORD, it is the Holy Spirit that commands us what to do. He puts the desire in our hearts to pray for others. He alone can push us to pray for them. Thus, it’s necessary for us to wholeheartedly submit ourselves to God because He alone can do great things through us.
We worship as we pray.
We obey God as we pray.
We grow as we pray.
We rejoice as we pray.
And we help others as we pray.
Are these things not enough for us to see the importance of prayer?
Always remember the emphasis that Jesus Christ has placed on prayer. He went to the mountains to pray, He prayed when healing people, He taught His disciples to pray, He prayed in Gethsemane before He was taken by the Roman soldiers, and He even prayed to God while He was hanging on the cross.
We saw Him live His life around prayer. 1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did”. We also must live a prayer-filled life just as Christ did during his time on Earth.
If you desire to be like Christ, know in your heart that:
It is always important for us to pray, and the excuses that we come up with not to do so will always be invalid.