We’ve exhausted our human efforts so in a half-hearted expression of hope we commit that issue to prayer…as a last resort.
I heard people say, “Oh prayer is powerful,” but my prayer life didn’t feel powerful. I don’t think I really understood the value or purpose of prayer and as a result I didn’t spend time seeking to nurture my prayer life.
But, God impressed upon me the need to take prayer seriously and He afforded me with insight as to why…
1. Prayer provides us with an ability to respond to the burdens, stress, and cares of others. It’s our responsibility as children of God to pray for one another—it’s considered a sin NOT to pray.
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should SIN against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.” —1 Samuel 12:23 (NLT)
2. Prayer allows us to partner with God and call His will to life on Earth. God works through people. He’s waiting for His people to rise up in prayer and speak the change they want to see.
3. Prayer eliminates discontentment and worry as it provides us with an outlet to release our cares.
4. Prayer is our greatest tool for spiritual warfare. We cannot combat attacks that are happening in the spiritual realm with our natural efforts, but with prayer we can.
5. Prayer is our link to God. It’s our direct connect. When we fail to pray it’s like a kink in the water hose. The flow of water is disrupted and we’re only afforded spurts of water. But, when we free the kink in our hose by nurturing our prayer life we experience the full flow of His Spirit in our life.
6. Prayer is a priority. Jesus demonstrated this importance by choosing prayer and communing with God over many things …
“One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.” Luke 6:12 (NLT)
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16 (NLT)
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” Mark 1:35 (NLT)
“After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23 (NLT)
“…where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.” Luke 4:2 (NLT)
We cannot afford to slack in our prayer life especially if we expect to minister and help other people. Our ability to minister to others stems from the overflow of our prayer life. The things that we learn in our time alone with Christ afford us with the things we need to pour into the lives of those around us. We can’t give something we don’t have. I must frequently remind myself that I can't get so busy doing stuff for God that I miss out on the opportunities to just spend time with God.
Recognize the importance of prayer. Ask God to show you how to pray. Decide that you are not going to approach prayer as just some religious activity and make a commitment to nurture your prayer life. It's a big deal.
[photo credit: Shannon Lee Miller]
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light.