The following article was written by Jason Dickey of Tampa, FL.
We have been spending time over the last several weeks considering what our goal is and how we can accomplish it. Specifically, we looked last week at the importance of reading our Bibles. The next and obvious idea for our consideration is having the right kind of prayer life. We often say that we need to pray more. We encourage each other to be routine in our prayer life and to spend time each day in thoughtful communication with our Lord. The question then is why is this so important? Let us consider several reasons why.
Firstly, we need to pray because it sets our mind right. The book of Psalms, a collection of songs/prayers that provide a unique insight into the individual\’s relationship with God provide a good example of this. Even though the book title literally means “praises” it is worthwhile to note that the majority of the psalms are actually categorized as “laments” or cries for help. The reason why this is important to note is that even though these psalms are laments, every single psalm of lament ends with some sort of praise or recognition of God (with the exception of Psalm 88). This movement in these prayers demonstrates the effect that prayer should have on our attitudes. The act of going to God in prayer and recognizing him for who He is as we make mention of our troubles and concerns is in itself something that redirects our thinking. As we humble ourselves in the presence of God we are forced to recognize the greatness of His deity and our place below Him. All of these things force us to redirect our thinking. Prayer is then one of the first great tools we have when life is dark and hard.
Secondly, prayer is something that we use to refocus our life. This is different from former point in that here prayer is seen as something that affects the larger movement of our life. Prayer is that great recognition and call for a calm in the midst life’s constant storm. The sin and corruption that darkens the world is parted through the calm reflection imparted by even a moment’s call to the Lord God almighty in prayer. You see recognition in God, recognition in His might, and calling upon that recognition is founded in our hope and faith for a life after life. We need this constant effort and thought if we are ever to be able to withstand the tempest that daily besets us.
Finally, prayer is important because God answers prayers. This is maybe the hardest part of prayer to actually accept. I don’t understand how free will, God’s foresight and omnipotence, and prayer can coincide. I can’t and never will be able to reconcile these difficult concepts and yet I will affirm to you all scriptures assertion of the effectiveness of prayer is true. Our faith in the faithfulness of God demands that we believe in answered prayers. Our hope to be with God in eternity demands a faith in answered prayers. This then is maybe the most important reason to go to God in prayer, because He answers.
This is all then to say as way of reminder that we need to pray. We need to have prayerful homes and be a prayerful people. We need to be a prayerful Church and a prayerful body of God’s kingdom. I will conclude then by repeating this admonishment to prayer by asking you all to say a prayer for those of our membership that are ill and suffering, those that are beset with trouble and disease. Pray for those that aren’t right with God and those that are. Pray for our families and parents and children. Pray for our Preacher and our Elders and Deacons. Pray for the glory of God to be spread and for us to be the tool that does the spreading. Pray for specific people and for groups of people. Pray to the Lord God almighty.