“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6.
The Bible contains numerous passages about prayer. “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1) “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:18) There are many more passages that could be noted. So why aren’t Christians people of prayer? Perhaps because we make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Prayer is important if we are to know God. There is no way to draw near to the Lord apart from prayer. It is in prayer that we express to the Lord our love for Him, our faith in Him, our worship of Him, and our surrender to Him. If for no other reason, the desire to know our Savior better should be ample enough reason to drop to our knees.
There is a partnership that God has called us to with Himself in the area of prayer. God, has chosen to accomplish His will on this planet through the prayers of His people. God has decided not to arbitrarily move in and out of situations on earth, even though He is able to do just that. Instead, He waits on His people to pray and then pours out His power in response to those prayers.
Ezekiel 22:30 is a passage of Scripture that illustrates this principle. “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” God, Himself was looking for an intercessor. He was looking for someone who would stand before Him in prayer on behalf of Israel so that He would not have to destroy her because of sin and rebellion. But no intercessor was to be found. Israel was defeated by the Babylonians and her people were in exile for 70 years.
Isaiah 59 reflects a similar situation. The chapter speaks of a nation that was in trouble. Verses 15 and 16 show us the Lord’s response to the evil that was going on. “Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.” But again, there was no one to intercede.
God has given us the awesome privilege of partnering with Him in bringing about the advance of His Kingdom on earth. As we ask ourselves, “why pray?” the answer is simple. We can partner with God in what He is doing on this planet. Understanding the place of prayer in God’s plan can give us greater motivation and commitment to be the people of prayer that God is calling us to become.
- The prayer of the righteous is powerfully effective, we should be motivated to pray. Agree or disagree and why?
- What can we do this week to partner with God in prayer?