Prayer is the most important aspect of being a Christian. This is the medium through which we can connect with our Father. Prior to the resurrection of Jesus there was no access to the Father but, through the sacrifice of Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can speak with God, anywhere, anytime!
There are countless reasons for prayer. I have detailed some below:-
- To confess our sin, 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Our sin has been forgiven through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, however, it is still necessary to confess our sin daily and ask for forgiveness in order that we can be right with God because sin raises a barrier between man and God.
- To thank God and show gratitude, Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” It can be easy to pray when we need something or when we are in a desperate situation and see no way out. We are all guilty of this and surprisingly even those who would not class themselves as Christian frequently turn to prayer in times of tragedy! While there is nothing wrong with this per se it is important that we thank God through the good times and bad. Even when we cannot see beyond the fog it is highly likely there are still blessings in your life, Having a roof over your head! Having food to eat! Being of reasonable health! Having family around you! Having God to speak to! The more you do this, the more you will see what God has done in your life! If times are hard right now and nothing seems to be going right, just thank God for waking you up that morning and for causing the sun to rise another day bringing hope for a brighter future!
- To get healing, James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” It is important to note that it is not always God’s will to heal. If someone is not healed this not necessarily because of sin or ineffective prayer, but that God, sees the bigger picture. We will never understand this as we view things from such a small perspective. It can seem cruel and unfair in our finite mind, but we must trust that God’s plans are much better than any that we could imagine!
- To ask for wisdom, James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When we first start to read the Bible, it can be very confusing because we don’t know the characters, we don’t know the history and the narrative can be very different to the type we are used to. There is a simple answer to this … pray. Ask for the wisdom to discern the text and it will be given unto you.
- To get help with anxiety and worry, Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It can be very easy to let our human worries overwhelm us and our loads can be very heavy but Jesus asks us to take our load off and hand it to him and he will bear it for us! I know that this is not an easy prayer … it is something I struggle with myself. However, it is important because when we hold onto the anxieties and worries, we are sabotaging our work for God and our relationship with him.
- To be close to God, Psalms 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” If we were to ignore our friends, never text, never call, never go round to see them, it is unlikely they will be your friend for much longer. Although God promises to never leave us or forsake us, he is waiting for us to come and speak with him, he is our heavenly father and we need to draw close to him.
- To get help for unbelief, Mark 9:24 “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Another problem that I have experienced frequently is lack of faith … Sometimes this can be something Christians are embarrassed to admit but it is likely we all suffer from it from time to time. How can we speak to someone that we cannot see! Usually when we do this, we are accused of being insane!! However, there is someone there and just because we cannot see something does not mean it does not exist! I cannot see the oxygen I breathe but I know it is there because I am still alive!! It is clear in this bible passage and many others that it is perfectly acceptable to ask God for help with unbelief. Remember God sees your heart and so he knows of your unbelief before you ask him. He will be pleased that you seek help!
- To humble oneself before God and submit to God’s will, James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Matthew 26:42 “He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” It is necessary that we give credit to God. It is never in our own strength that we achieve but through him who created us. How annoyed are we when our work is plagiarised? Then think of our father in heaven when we puff ourselves up with our achievements! We must be humble before our father. Only by humble submission will we achieve the will of God in our lives. Even Jesus himself, God incarnate submitted to the Father’s will so how much more should we!
- To get help withstanding temptation, Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Temptation is all around us and the only one who can save us from this is our Father.
- To ask for something, 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”, James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” There is nothing wrong with coming before our Father to ask for something, however, this must be of his will. It is unlikely if you present yourself before the father asking him to make you rich so that you can buy a fancy car and a wardrobe full of designer clothes that he will grant this because it is unlikely to be his will unless through this somehow his name will be glorified! Be careful what you wish for that it is in line with the spirit of Jesus!
- To sing praise, James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” Prayer need not always be a solemn devotion to God. There are many tales of exuberant praise in the Bible, so it is just as important to recite praise to God or perhaps put on a worship song and sing to him or play your instrument to the father.
You may wonder why I have so many Bible references throughout my writing? The reason is that I desire my blog to be of God and not of man and therefore it is especially important that everything that I write has its foundation in the Word of God.
It is important that you look at these verses and learn from them. Some are from the Old Testament and some from the New. The chapter numbers are the large numbers beside headings (it is important to note that these headings were not in the original text but were added much later). The verse numbers are small and are placed throughout the text. At the top of each page you will see where the page begins i.e. Mark 1:28 and on the opposite page where it ends i.e. Mark 3:12.
I have provided quite a lot of information in this blog, so I think it best I leave it at this for today and continue tomorrow with more information on prayer!
Meantime, enjoy the scripture readings and if you have a Bible have a look at them in there, you may want to read a little extra from before and after the above texts to familiarise yourself with the setting, If you are yet to purchase a Bible check in the app stores as there is a wide choice of Bible software to choose from and you will have access to this immediately.
Please remember that I am here for any advice that you may need so do not hesitate to get in touch.
Lastly, “Pray always. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”” Romans 12:12.
Love and Blessings