By Charles F. Stanley
Prayer is one of the most important activities in our lives because we’re actually talking to the sovereign God of the universe who has all power and knowledge. He understands how we feel, knows what we think, and has the power to intervene in every area of life.
Yet despite the Lord’s willingness to listen and answer our requests, we are not always faithful in prayer. When times are good, we may forget to pray. Or maybe we doubt that God will answer. But the biggest hindrance to prayer is sin. If we’re unwilling to acknowledge our sins and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness, we’ll have no desire to talk to a holy God.
Consider these ways that the time we spend in prayer with the Lord affects our lives:
It’s the method God uses to meet our needs (Phil. 4:19).
He comforts us in our times of trial and heartache by assuring us of His presence with us and His willingness to help us.
Prayer is a channel through which we build an intimate relationship with God and sense His love for us.
The Lord strengthens us in times of temptation as we believe His promises and seek His help (1 Cor. 10:13).
God is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness as we confess our sins to Him in prayer (1 John 1:9).
Prayer is our source of guidance as we seek the Lord’s direction and listen for His instructions (Ps. 32:8).
God helps us understand His Word as we read and ask Him to speak to our hearts.
Prayer is a shield that protects us from anxiety and worries when we remember that He has full control and provides the grace we need in every situation.
Through prayer, the Lord gives us courage and confidence to face challenges, and reminds us that He puts sovereign limitations on the burdens we carry.
Prayer brings God’s emotional and physical healing as well as guidance when we’re confused about the hurts we experience.
We receive the Holy Spirit’s power, which strengthens us to face difficult situations.
Prayer can affect other people anywhere in the world because it creates a holy triangle between us, God, and whomever we pray for.
The Scriptures repeatedly tell us to devote ourselves to prayer (Col. 4:2). Devotion requires that we not only set aside uninterrupted time for prayer, but that we also think seriously about what we’re asking. We must give God the time and attention He deserves in order to have a growing relationship with Him.
How often do you pray? Don’t let anything stand in the way. Commit to praying daily and watch as the Lord responds as only He can.