Prayer is an activity that many Christians, including myself, seem to struggle to do consistently today. We often either allow ourselves to become too distracted and/or we fail to be intentional in setting aside time to do it. Of course, we have no real excuse as prayer can be done anytime anywhere. Much of mine occurs (outside of church times) before bed or while in the car – you don’t have to close your eyes to pray.
Even so, this is not what I want to talk about here today. Instead, I want to emphasize some of the things prayer does for us.
- It humbles us. As we pray, we recognize that it is God who is in control ultimately and not us as we take our concerns, desires, and even calls for mercy to Him.
- We find strength in it. Heb. 4:14-16 speaks of the fact that we have Jesus Christ as our mediator to God the Father who has experienced every struggle in life. In other words, He can perfectly sympathize and so we can approach God with confidence and find grace.
- It helps us to cast away anxiety. Anxiety comes as we pridefully try to shoulder all things ourselves rather than take them to God. When we humble ourselves in prayer, we are given the opportunity to cast all concerns on Him (see 1 Peter 5:6-7). He also promises His peace when we do this (Phil. 4:6-7).
- As we thank God for the blessings we do receive, despite whatever negative situations we find ourselves in, we learn and reinforce a state of contentment from our thanksgiving that helps us to push away anxieties in this world.
- We can take confidence in God that He answers prayer. Not only do we know that we have a perfect mediator in Christ, but we also have numerous examples in Scripture of God answering prayer. Yes, it may not be in the way we desire at times, but He does answer in His time and I can speak from my own experiences as well that He does answer.
- Through it, we find comfort in times of trouble. Ps. 50:15
- …and on
There are many things written on prayer and I do not intend this to be exhaustive. Even so, I do think these points are good reminders of what we gain from prayer as it puts us into the right mind we are called to as followers of Christ. Ultimately, prayer brings God glory which in turn works to bring us joy in Him as it is in that state of bringing God glory that we find our greatest fulfillment.
For further reading on prayer: