Nearly all Christians know that as a Christian, one should pray. But are we all aware of how truly vital prayer is to our spiritual wellbeing? And I’m not talking about only praying before eating a meal, before going to bed at night, or when you get time in the morning or the evening to read the Bible and then end it off with prayer. I mean that praying all day, every day is how we should live and that to be in that almost constant state of prayer is what we should desire. The Bible teaches us that not only is this what makes a healthy, strong Christian, but it is also a weapon given to us to use in spiritual warfare and, most importantly, the way of communication with our all-loving, all-powerful Lord who wants us to spend time with Him and pour out our hearts to Him.
1 Chronicles 6:11 says to seek the Lord and His strength and Colossians 4:2 says to continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. But then, already knowing that every Christian is called to pray, how can we make prayer a habit and the first move we make in any situation we find ourselves in? Well, I believe the way to learn more about prayer and to find answers that we can stand on is by delving into God’s word and asking those questions of Him, so let’s do that.
Why should we pray daily?
Because we love Him and He is worthy of all our praise. We spend time with those we love, so how much more time should we spend with Him whom we love because He first loved us, Him whom we belong to? Joshua 22:5 says to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Our purpose is to love and praise Him, and we can do so with prayer. Psalm 145:3 tells us: Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable (NKJV). We should be praising Him continually!
Because God commands us to, and for our own good as well. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 He says to pray without ceasing, and in James 5:14-16 the Bible says that prayer can lead to healing and forgiveness for us.
Because He listens to us, and wants to grant us what we ask, especially if it’s according to His divine will. Philippians 4:6 says to let our requests be known to God by prayer, and 1 John 5:14 says that when we ask according to His will, he hears us. Not to mention that we can pray to desire things that line up with His will!
Because it’s effective and it’s a weapon. In James chapter 5 again, in verse 16, it says: the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Then in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 it says: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (NKJV). Prayer is one of those non-carnal weapons God has provided for us. When things are going haywire, when we’re attacked in any kind of way or when we feel there’s a wall between us and God, we should be aware that we’re in a spiritual battle and that there’s even more reason to pray, pray, pray.
What impact does prayer have on our hearts and on the people we pray for?
When we feel weak, battered or just down, we can pray for His comfort to take care of us and renew us. When our hearts are angry, hurt or scarred, we can pray for His peace to hold us steady. And when we are sinful or have sinful thoughts, we can pray that He cleanses us and leads us in the way of righteousness. He loves us so much, and He wants to fill our hearts with so much joy and light, but we have to want that from Him. He won’t force it on us.
So, prayer is a way to ask that He work on our hearts and make them look more like His. There’s a beautiful passage from 1 Thessalonians in chapter 5, verses 23 to 24 that reads: May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it (NKJV). This is something you can pray over yourself, as it’s the Lord’s will for you as a child of God. It says He will do it, and that is the beauty of it. We can pray humbly to Him and then He is the one who does the mountain moving and the life changing.
You can also pray that scripture over others, and when it comes to praying for other people- you praying to God for anyone, friend or family, government official or the lady who works at the supermarket – it’s also incredibly important, no matter who it is you pray for. God love us all. That means whether it’s someone close to your heart or rather someone you struggle with, prayer is powerful and crucial and a form of love that we should take every opportunity to use.
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. – Luke 6:27-28 NKJV
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. – Romans 12:10-12 NKJV
How making prayer a habit will change us for good
There are so many more benefits of prayer that I could list, and the bullet points could go on for ages. One benefit that I particularly love is how prayer keeps our minds thinking of things above, not just on our lives here on earth or on who we are or the limitations that we have. It keeps our eyes on Jesus and changes us to be more like Him, often without us even realizing it.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3:1-2 NKJV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
He is moving in us and growing us, and prayer is a big part of that. It’s us opening our arms to receive what He has for us, it’s us welcoming it. Therefore, in closing, I’d like us to take away a reminder to continue in prayer, make it a constant in our lives, and never forget its power when spoken through His name. The Lord is with you and ready to listen, and at any time and in any place, you can call out to Him in prayer – so don’t waste such a valuable gift!
Live It Out
How do we become prayer warriors/people who pray fervently and earnestly? Well, just by doing exactly that. Praying and seeking the Lord. God has made prayer something that is not only pleasing to Him but also something that connects us to Him, builds us up, gives us hope and restoration and also leads us in the way of His will. It’s something to be grateful for and definitely something to put into practice. Don’t wait another moment, challenge yourself to pray more often and about everything!