The Importance of Prayer
May 4, 2021
It is our desire at NewPointe to encourage and equip you to pursue a vital relationship with God, with other believers, and with those who have yet to come to know Jesus. We say it like this: Connect with God, connect with others, and connect others to God.
The first is the most important and the one that equips us for the other two: Connect with God. This Thursday, May 6, is the National Day of Prayer. Prayer is one of the most essential ways we can connect with God.
Prayer is not just helpful, it is essential. It is a must. It is both a delight and a duty. We should pray every day whether we feel like it or not. Prayer and meditation can influence our state of mind, and then our state of mind has an effect on our state of body. Praying regularly can help with anxiety, sadness, blood pressure, sleep, digestion, and breathing. It will also directly influence our thinking.
When we pray as Jesus taught, “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” we are acknowledging that things are not right in our world. There is incredible power and potential in prayer. Through prayer, we invite the God of the universe into the situation and into our lives. Prayer changes things, but even more, prayer changes us. Through prayer, we have the opportunity to reach our full potential in Christ and make a significant difference in the world.
God is a refuge for us. Through prayer, we can seek His comfort, shelter, wisdom, and courage no matter the situation. It is our fiercest weapon against the enemy and all things in this fallen world. Priscilla Shirer, author of Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer says, “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and all his ploys against you.”
Another well-known author, Mark Batterson says, “Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.” In other words, who you become, the circumstances in your life, and the core of your character are all determined by what you talk to God about. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer.
The first disciples, the ones upon whose shoulders Jesus laid the initial responsibility of evangelizing the world, came to Jesus with one request. You might have expected them to ask, “Lord, teach us to preach,” “Lord, teach us to do miracles,” “Lord, teach us to be wise,” or “Lord, teach us to defend ourselves from trouble.” But no. They said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
Because these followers of Jesus saw the example He set in praying, and they noted the direct relationship between His ministry and His consistent life of prayer, they knew this was what they must have.
Jesus considered prayer more important than food. The accounts written by eyewitnesses say that hours before breakfast, “Long before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray” (Mark 1:35). What a privilege is ours, this privilege of prayer! We can approach God the Father just as Jesus did. When we pray in times of adversity, it keeps us from struggling with unbelief and becoming unfaithful. When we pray in times of prosperity, we are enabled to avoid becoming boastful and proud. When we pray in times of danger, we are kept from become fearful and doubting. When we pray in times of security, we are able to avoid becoming self-sufficient. Those who are sinning are invited to pray to a God of mercy and forgiveness.
Jesus-followers, pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit upon us to shine in a dark world. Parents, pray that God will work for you and through you, filling your home with His grace, love, and mercy. Children, if your parents are not yet Jesus-followers, pray for the salvation of your parents. We all have great needs and opportunities for God to meet. He is able and willing! Let’s pray!