Prayer is not the compilation of long words or flowery lingo. It's not the language of the 'holy people'! It's not some sophisticated language of regular church goers! No! It's such a pity most of us fail to realize what true prayer is! Most of us think it's something we have to do to be good, while others do it because it's something our family, church or culture says we ought to do.
Then again, some feel prayer is like an ATM card; you use it when you need something or when you fall into horrendous situations. The problem today is that our misconceptions about prayer have clouded the image of true prayer. Then what is true prayer and what is the importance of prayer in daily life?
What is Prayer
Prayer is the utterance from your spirit to God. In simple terms, talking to God is called prayer. It's the simple opening of one's heart to our Father in Heaven. It's coming to Him and telling Him everything in your heart. Then, why do we find praying so complicated? Those of us who say, 'I don't pray because I don't know how to pray', haven't understood that prayer is just being yourself and talking to God with honesty and sincerity.
When I was growing up, I found prayer very boring. It's because it just seemed like an endless stream of meaningless words to me. However, when I truly understood what prayer meant (that it's speaking to God with complete honesty, without any kind of masks or worrying about how and what you talk), my whole perspective about prayer changed. Prayer today is not a burdensome task that I have to complete everyday, but a joyful time I spend with my Lord. It's such a privilege to be able to talk to the King of Kings; to share my innermost thoughts, my deepest desires! However, this privilege came at a price. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me, for my sins, just so that I could enter the throne of God's grace with confidence. So is it for you!
What is the Importance of Prayer
Drawing Nearer to God...
Men and women who opt for arranged marriages are often told to talk to the person and learn more about each other. They are told to communicate and understand each other's personalities and temperaments. Why are they told this? Why is communication a very crucial part of marriage? Because if you do not communicate you will never be able to know the person. Similarly, if you do not pray, if you do not talk to God, you can never learn more about who He is. To understand the Father heart of God, we need to pray. To lead a life of intimacy with God, we need to pray. In John 15:15, Jesus says He no longer calls us his servants, but calls us His friends. Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 3:9, God calls us His fellow workers. But, how can we be His fellow workers if we refuse to talk to Him?
Tool to Bind Powers of Darkness...
Prayer is powerful and you need to remember, the words uttered in prayer have wonder-working power. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Do not underestimate the power of prayer. The Devil is constantly trying to discourage us, demoralize us and weaken our faith in God. When tempted to fall into sin, pray. Prayer gives us the power to overcome. Pray gives us the strength and the faith to finish the race marked before us in this life.
The more time you spend with God, the more your face will shine with the radiance of God. The more your nature will resemble the loving nature of God. Our habits and lifestyles change. We no longer live selfish lives, but love others with a pure and sincere heart. Prayer changes us from the inside, which soon gets reflected on the outside.
It is important to pray for God's protection on your family everyday. Pray for your parents, spouse, children every single day. Moreover, as parents, the responsibility lies with us to make kids aware of the importance of prayer. For children are extremely vulnerable and the choices they make during their growing up years will shape their future.
Pray for God's protection upon their young lives. My father-in-law always makes sure he says a short word of prayer everyday before each of us goes to work, school or out to the mall. Before traveling he always prays for God's protection to be upon each one of us. And we do the same. It's just a two minute prayer, but very powerful and fills our hearts with peace.
Sets Captives Free...
Another important aspect of prayer is intercession. Intercession is standing in the gap and praying for others in need. Pray fervently for those around you. There is a lot of heartache in this world, scores of people are suffering from the bondage of sin. Pray in the name of Jesus, that these captives will be set free. Pray for a breakthrough in their lives.
Jesus healed the sick while He was on Earth. He also gave authority to His disciples to heal. Jesus Christ has also given each one of us who believes in Him, the authority to heal. James 5: 14-16, talks about how the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Pray for emotional, spiritual and physical healing for yourself and for those around you. So many people go through physical, mental and sexual abuse. The blood of Jesus heals every wound. Walk towards Him and you will be healed.
Prayer Brings About Breakthroughs...
Are you struggling with an issue in life? Are you desperately seeking a breakthrough? There's no point fretting or getting frustrated. It is my appeal you fast and pray. There is power in fasting and praying. It may sound very spiritual and something you have never done before. But, fasting and prayer is powerful. Fast and pray on a regular basis (weekly or more frequently if possible).
Select a time when you have the house to yourself, so you will be free to sing and pray aloud. Start by singing a few choruses, then begin reading the Bible. After that pour your heart out to God and share your burdens openly. Then read some more from the Bible. Even if the breakthrough doesn't happen that day, you will receive the strength and the grace to carry on. Don't stop fasting and praying even if you feel the breakthrough is taking too long. Continue fasting and praying. You will receive the answers to your prayers.
Do not let the jet speed pace of this world eat away your prayer life. Begin your day with 'quiet time', then pray constantly during the day. Pray on your way to work, during idle time, pray when you're anxious, etc. Strive for a 24*7 walking-talking relationship with God. There are different Bible verses on the importance of prayer. Delve into the Word and find out for yourself the beauty of this communication tool. You won't believe it till you experience it!