Simply defined, prayer is communicating with our Creator. We are praying because we ask God for help, because we want to give thanks and praises. We are praying because we want to talk with God.
Constant communication is very important in the success of every relationship. If we believe that God wanted to have a good relationship with us, then prayer is important because it is our way of growing closer through daily communications.When we pray daily, when we communicate daily with God and make time for Him in our lives, we really do have an easier road. When we do not spend time with God daily, especially communicating with Him, we will notice a profound difference in our daily achievements.
A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. This was proven in the Bible and we can find it in many verses:
Paul, the Apostle wrote to the converted Gentiles to do prayers as part of their lives. He taught about what prayers can do in their lives, as a way of presenting requests to God, thanksgiving and praises. Prayer can also be used not only for one’s self but also for praying for others.
Romans 12: 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Phillipians 4: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Ephesians 6: 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Colossians 4: 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
JESUS invites us to ask the FATHER in HIS name for those things that glorify the FATHER.
Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Joh 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
Joh 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Joh 16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
The Bible has given us examples of prayers. Look at Moses, Samuel, Elijah, and Daniel. (Read Exodus 33; 1 Samuel 7:9; 12: 23; 1 Kings 18: 41 -46; James 5: 17-18; Daniel 6: 10)
In Luke 6: 12, we read that JESUS spent all night in prayer before choosing His twelve Apostles. These examples show us the importance of prayer and illustrate how powerful prayer is and how important it is to God. He is pleased to use the prayers of His people to accomplish His purposes in this world.
We can also find verses that God strongly urge us to pray always. This is to show that indeed prayers are important.
- Prayer is important to lead us to a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. From these verses, we find that God desires all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of truth and prayers are important tool to help them to come to God.
- Apostle Paul advised us to pray on all occasions but encourage us to always keep on praying for all saints. These saints are the faithfuls. Ephesians 6: 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
We are praying not only for ourselves but we pray also for everyone.
- In this life, many things can make us anxious. And prayers can help us overcome these things. Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 1 Peter 5: 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
- Or anything we ask in the name of JESUS CHRIST. It doesn’t mean just using His name as an ending to our prayers. We ask it through His name so He will be glorified. Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Things to watch out for when Praying
Regarding prayers, Christ said “DON’T BE HYPOCRITES WHEN PRAYING.”
Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
This is a private prayer taught by Jesus Christ prohibiting us to display ourselves when we pray. It is not necessarily we take a room to be able to make a prayer. There are instances that if we feel like praying and there are no rooms to pray on, we can still pray anywhere we want because God is every where, and He can hear our prayers anywhere we are.
Jesus rejected the people who during His time were only praying just to be able to be seen by other people. They worship God but their hearts are far away from His commandments because what they are following are commandments of men and not of God.
VAIN REPETITIONS NOT ALLOWED
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
The life of prayer lies in lifting up the soul and pouring out the heart. But there are some interests that words have in prayers, especially in joint prayer; for that words are necessary. Use not vain repetitions, either alone or with others: the Pharisees affected this, they made LONG PRAYERS (Matthew 23: 14), all their care was to make them long.
It is not all repetition in prayer that is here condemned, but vain repetitions. Christ himself prayed, saying the same words (Matthew 26: 44), out of more than ordinary fervour and zeal, Luke 22:44.
Not that all long prayers are forbidden; Christ prayed all night, Luke 6:12. Solomon’s was a long prayer. There is sometimes need of long prayers when our errands and our affections are extraordinary. But merely to prolong the prayer, as if it would make it more pleasing or more prevailing with God, is that which is here condemned.
It is not much praying that is condemned; no, we are bid to pray always, but much speaking; the danger of this error is when we only say our prayers, and not when we pray them. This caution is explained by that of Solomon (Eclesiastes 5:2), Let thy words be few, considerate and well weighed; take with you words (Hosiah 14:2), choose out words (Job 9:14), and do not say every thing that comes uppermost.
Why are these things not allowed when praying? What are the reasons given to us?
This is the way of the heathen, as the heathen do; and it ill becomes Christians to worship their God as the Gentiles worship theirs. The heathen were taught by the light of nature to worship God; but becoming vain in their imaginations concerning the object of their worship, no wonder they became so concerning the manner of it, and particularly in this instance; thinking God altogether such a one as themselves, they thought God needed many words to make Him understand what was said to Him, or to bring Him to comply with their requests; as if He were weak and ignorant, and hard to be entreated.
Thus Baal’s priests were hard at it from morning till almost night with their vain repetitions; O Baal, hear us; O Baal, hear us; and vain petitions they were; but Elijah, in a grave, composed frame, with a very concise prayer, prevailed for fire from heaven first, and then water, 1 King 18:26, 36. Lip-labour in prayer, though ever so well laboured, if that be all, is but lost labour.
“It need not be your way, for your Father in heaven knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him, and therefore there is no occasion for such abundance of words. It does not follow that therefore we need not pray; for God requires us by prayer to own our need of Him and dependence on Him, and to please His promises; but therefore we are to open our case, and pour out our hearts before Him, and then leave it with Him.”
The God we pray to is our Father by creation, by covenant; and therefore our addresses to him should be easy, natural, and unaffected but full of respect; children do not use to make long speeches to their parents when they want any thing; Let us come to him with the disposition of children, with love, reverence, and dependence.
He is a Father that knows our case and knows our wants better than we do ourselves. He knows what things we have need of; His eyes run to and fro through the earth, to observe the necessities of His people,
2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
and He often gives before we call (Isaiah 65:24),
Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear
and more than we ask for (Ephesians 3:20),
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
and if He does not give His people what they ask, it is because He knows they do not need it, and that it is not for their good; and of that He is fitter to judge for us than we for ourselves.
We need not be long, nor use many words in representing our case; God knows it better than we can tell Him, only He will know it from us (what will ye that I should do unto you?); and when we have told him what it is, we must refer ourselves to Him, Lord, all my desire is before thee,Psalm 38:9. So far is God from being wrought upon by the length or language of our prayers, that the most powerful intercessions are those which are made with groaning that cannot be uttered, Romans 8:26. We are not to prescribe, but subscribe to God.