March 19, 2018 laurelglenbible

Three Reasons Prayer is a Precious Gift

Have you ever been in the middle of praying, and stopped to ask yourself, does God even hear what I’m saying right now? If this is you, don’t worry. You’re not alone! The author of Hebrews writes, “Now faith is the assurance of things hope for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). As believers, we place our faith in something (currently) unseen. Because of this, it is normal to question whether or not God truly hears and even cares about our prayers. As you dedicate time to pray each day, hopefully, you will realize that prayer is a precious gift from God. When we neglect this wonderful and precious gift, it is truly to our detriment. In the following words, I hope to remind and inspire you of this truth. Let’s look at three reasons why prayer is a precious gift!

  1. God hears your prayers and acts on them.

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name” – Malachi 3:16

It is amazing to think that God not only loves us enough to send Christ in our place but also to pay attention to the details of our lives. The verse above demonstrates that God hears and cares intimately about those who are in awe of Him. When God saved us through Christ, He placed us in an intimate relationship with Himself. Believe it or not, it is the most intimate relationship you will ever have. Because of this truth, prayer should be the most natural part of our relationship with God. Being in an intimate relationship with someone requires communication. If you neglected to communicate with your spouse, children, or close friends, could you really claim to have an intimate relationship with them? Probably not. In the same way, prayer is our primary way of communicating with God. It is through prayer that we have the privilege of speaking directly to God, and we can be assured that He hears and cares, even though He already knows everything.

Additionally, God also answers and acts on our prayers. One example in the Scriptures is found in Exodus 32. To summarize, after God delivers the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they make a golden calf to worship instead of worshipping God. In response, God tells Moses that He will pour out His wrath on them and bring forth a new nation from Moses (vs. 10). Moses pleads with the Lord, and the Lord has mercy on the Israelites (vs. 14). God had intended to destroy the Israelites because of their sin, yet at the same time knew that He would have mercy on them as Moses interceded on their behalf. In the same way, God answers and acts on our prayers while at the same time knowing all things and being in control of everything. Knowing that the God who cares intimately for us is the same God who knows and is in control of all things should drive us to pray consistently and confidently. May we find great comfort and satisfaction in these truths.

  1. Prayer is necessary for walking in step with the Spirit.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from the things you want to do” – Galatians 5:16-17

It is the will of God for you to live a life of holiness. This is only possible because we have the righteousness of Christ and the Spirit who raised Him from the dead dwelling in us. Yet at the same time, it is possible for us to walk contrary to what the Spirit desires for our lives. Because of our sin nature, it will always be our natural tendency to pursue the desires of our flesh. This is exactly why prayer is a necessity. In order to pursue a life of holiness and stay in step with the Spirit, we must consistently confess and repent of sin in our life. God has promised that as we do this, He will not only forgive us but also cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). In addition, just as David prayed in Psalm 139, we must also ask God to search us and reveal sin that we may not see. As we seek God through prayer, confessing and repenting of our sin, God is actively aligning our hearts with His will for our lives. We need this because we often forget God’s goodness and purpose for our life.

  1. Praying for others is one of the most loving things to do for another person.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” – James 5:16

Our prayer life is not only to be concerned with our life, but also the lives of others. In fact, the statement about praying for one another is a command to obey rather than a suggestion. Praying for others is necessary because it is one way we directly apply the attribute of humility in our lives. It is an opportunity for us to count others as more than significant than ourselves (Phil 2:3). Additionally, praying on behalf of others is one of the most loving things you can do for another person. It is the act of going before the Creator to communicate on behalf of another person. This, combined with the fact that God hears and acts on our prayers and cleanses us from all unrighteousness as we confess, makes prayer a necessary and precious gift from God.

-Josh White, Pastoral Coordinator