Simply said, prayer is talking to God. God speaks to us through His Word. We talk to God through prayer.
I’m thankful that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made it possible for me to have a direct line of communication to the Father when He gave up His life on the cross to pay for my sins and then rose again. I acknowledged my sinfulness, thanked Him for His sacrifice on my behalf, and received Him as my Savior. God then accepted me into His family.
Confession, agreeing with God about our sin, keeps our line of communication open.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
This is because “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
Jesus demonstrated the importance of prayer. He often went aside to pray, He taught His disciples to pray, and He prayed for His followers. In his letters to the early church, Paul often included a prayer or said he was praying for them.
Scripture reminds us that God wants us to pray. When we pray, we praise God for who He is and thank Him what He has done. We show our faith in His promises and faithfulness, in His power and sovereignty. We recognize our dependency on Him to provide for us as we acknowledge our weaknesses and sins.
In Luke 18, Jesus told the parable of the unjust judge and the woman who persists in asking him for justice until he gives it to her. God, our heavenly Father, cares about you and me, and He listens to and answers our prayers. God wants us to pray.
Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7,8)
If you’re at all like me, I forget to pray when trouble comes. I worry, fret, and complain until I remember that God is waiting for me to talk to Him. It doesn’t matter whether my prayer is for something big or small, everything matters to God.
I’m often reminded of these two admonitions of the apostle Paul:
Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I shouldn’t worry, but I should pray. I should pray about everything and give thanks to God.
Prayer isn’t just for ourselves. We are to pray for one another. Intercession is an important aspect of prayer.
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
We are to pray for our government leaders.
1 Timothy 2:1:4 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Many years ago, our pastor asked the congregation whether we ever prayed for our country’s leaders, or did we just complain about them.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water He turns it wherever He wishes.”
The National Day of Prayer is set aside for us as a nation to pray for our country, it’s leaders, and ourselves. We need revival in the hearts of genuine believers and a reawakening of it’s citizens to return to the Lord.
Although 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a promise to Israel, I believe we can apply it to ourselves and the United States of America.
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”