The Importance of Prayer
During my reading, I came across a leadership article on prayer entitled The Importance of Prayer by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir. The article highlights the preeminence of prayer in the life of the children of God and its critical importance in our lives. Moreover, it was an inspirational and informative lesson that I believe should be shared abroad. Over the course of the next few weeks I will share from this article and I believe it will incite you to pursue our Heavenly Father in a greater way in prayer. I pray that it blesses you richly.
- Craig L. Oliver, Sr.
Understand the Importance of Prayer!
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Luke 11:1-4
Real Prayer is Saturation Prayer
This passage in Luke is not a prayer, but rather a model for us to follow on how to pray. The closer we follow this passage, the closer we come to our Lord. The closer we come to attaining the fullness of our spiritual potential, the better we pray. As members of the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to be always teaching one another how to pray. The best teacher is the one who models it in his or her life. We are to model this in all activities and pursuits in the church. We are to be specific, simple, and follow the above aspects, so that our prayers are relevant and not too general or crude. We must be honest and open with our Lord and our will needs to be opened because of what He has done for us, who He is, what we wish to do, and who we are to Him. Then, we can share our burdens and intimacy.
Prayer is pivotal and essential. Prayer is meant to line us up in His will and with His empowerment. Being faithful in prayer is the essential mechanism for reaching others with the faith. Nothing of value can accrue in you or through you without prayer. These Scriptures, Matthew 9:35-38, John 14:12-14, and Colossians 4:2-6 testify to us that we need to be praying for workers, for ourselves, for opportunities, and for those who do not know Him.
Prayer is our key to God's door. It is our foundation to the exercising of and growth in the faith, and essential in our witnessing. It is the work of Christ through the work of the Spirit that saves. Prayer lines us up to His will and grows us in maturity and understanding. It is the power behind, in the mist of, and in front of the faith. To be effective in your growth in Christ, you have to be a person who prays-and prays regularly. To witness, you must be praying for that person's soul and conversion. Pray as specifically as you can, and as often as you can. It may take a few minutes; it may take many years. Whatever the cost and time, prayer is the foundation to any work of evangelism. Without effective prayer, you cannot be effective in your evangelism-period! Do not even try it without prayer. Sharing your faith without praying for the person is like training a pig to fly; all you will do is waste your time and annoy the pig. All you will accomplish in trying to do evangelism without prayer is distance yourself from God, waste your time, and annoy the person. Why? Because you are trying to do the work of God without God.
If you think that you do not know how to pray, you need to ask yourself, do I know how to talk and listen? If you know how to talk to another person, then you know how to pray! Prayer is basically our communication with the Great, Sovereign God of the Universe who wants the best for us and who wants to hear from us. The great wonder is not so much in how we pray, but that God is willing to listen to us. The great, wonderful fallout from our redemption is our ability to pray real and effective prayers that God actually hears and to which He responds. God will actually speak to us through His Word; the Holy Spirit teaches and convicts us through the Word. The fact is, our prayer time with God is basically our conversing with Him, through which we express our gratitude for whom He is, what He did for us, and how we can discover our purpose in life. Thus, through our prayers, we can be taught, we can grow, and we can be convicted so we can apply His precepts to our lives and affect those around us, too. This then transfers to the people God lays upon our heart to reach, connecting with Him before we connect with them.
Prayer is not just talking to God. It is also meant to further link us to Him and develop our relationship with Him so we can build our faith, character, maturity, and then our witness. Remember, we have access to God; we have permission to come to Him! Wow. What a privilege we have!