God speaks to us in numerous ways, such as through nature and in the Words of the Bible, through the situations that we are in, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. However it is not enough for Him to speak to us, we must also communicate back. In order to grow and strengthen our spiritual lives, we must talk, and share our lives with our heavenly Father. While we may be able to sense our minds being drawn to His, or we focus and study on the things He has done for us and on the things He has blessed us with, simply directing our minds towards Him is not the same as communicating with Him. In order to have a dialog with God, we must share something with Him concerning our actual life—by telling Him about it.
Prayer is simply talking to God the same way we would talk to a close friend. We share our hearts with Him not because He needs to learn something new, but instead it is to help us open our hearts to receiving Him. Prayer does not pull God down to where we are; it instead elevates us up to Him.
When Jesus was here on earth, He taught His disciples how to pray. (Luke 11:1-13). He taught them to share their daily needs with God, and to give God all their worries. He promised the disciples that He would hear their prayers and this is the same promise that we can claim today.
Jesus modeled a prayer-filled life for us. While on earth, He often would leave the crowds and pray. Jesus is human and because of this, our Creator and Savior is able to relate with us—with our needs and our weaknesses—so that He can become a source of strength for us when we face trials. He is our example, and “He faced all of the same [temptations] we do, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15), but because He was not tainted with and deceived by sin, He chose the path of life. Being human, prayer was both necessary to remain connected with the Father, and it brought Him comfort and joy being able to talk with His Father. If Jesus, our Savior and Example, the Son of God, decided to make prayer a central theme in His life, we as sin-tainted humans should choose to fill our lives with passionate, and heartfelt prayers.
God, our heavenly Father, is waiting for opportunities to bless us. We are privileged to have prayer as a way to talk with God and to share with Him ways that He can bless us. It is strange then that we pray so rarely. God is waiting to hear our sincere and humble prayers, and we are often too reluctant to share our needs and requests with Him. What do the angels think as they look down on humanity, lost in a maze of sin and countless temptations, all while God is longing to bless them with more than they could even dream of if they would simply ask? What do they think as they see us struggling through life, and prayer, which should be the first response, is often the last, if it is even considered at all? The angels love to be in God’s presence; they love to be next to Him. They feel the greatest joy and fulfillment being next to Him. However, humanity, who needs God even more than the angels do, seem to be predominantly content with carrying on life without the light of God’s Truth, and without God’s Spirit to guide and empower them.
Spiritual darkness will surround people who neglect to pray. Temptations will increase, and our enemy will multiply his efforts to cause them to fall—all because they chose not to use the gift and tool of prayer that God has given to them. Why are we, as followers of Christ, hesitant to pray, when prayer is the key to unlocking heaven’s blessings and protection? Without focused consistent prayer and careful watching, we run the risk of growing careless and straying off of the path God has laid out for us. Our enemy will continually try to distract us, keep us busy, and tempt us in any way possible to keep us from approaching God presence in heaven through prayer, so that He can give us forgiveness, grace, and the power to resist temptation.
Next week, we will continue looking at prayer and how God has given us this awesome privilege.
P.S. As always, if I missed something, or if you would like to respond on this topic, join the conversation below!