The Importance of Prayer

Have you ever argued with God?  It’s sort of a futile situation, but one in which I find myself caught many times.  Hmmm…what’s that definition of insanity again?….

Seriously, last week I was caught in this prayer cycle, asking for the Lord’s clarity and discernment on a troubling situation I was facing. Towards the middle of the week I was getting pretty clear answers from God, which weren’t exactly the answers that I had hoped for.  So I did what any child does; I argued with my Father.  I emotionally spun out of control, much like a gyroscope.

During this internal struggle between choosing to do what God had placed on my heart and continuing to do what I wanted , I began wondering about praying and the importance we Christ-followers place on it.  I’d like to say that I’m always in align with God’s Word, but I’m not.  Truthfully, I began thinking maybe if I had just given myself more time to think about the situation…maybe I knew all along what to do. I mean, should we really pray about every little thing?

Perhaps one of our most common errors in situations is to assume that we know the right answer even before praying about it. Another pretty common error is to disregard the answer God gives to us AFTER we pray about it.

The great thing is that we don’t have to beg the Lord to speak to us or to hear us. God is our loving Father who has already spoken through the Word, who continues to guide us by the Spirit, and who eagerly listens for the voices of his children. We are to approach the Lord knowing that nothing would give him greater pleasure than to fulfill the prayers of his children, voiced in accord with his will. Luke 11:9-10So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Praying is really a conversation. Conversation is talking and listening. In fact when the conversation is with our Lord, it is best to begin by listening! Finding the time to pray is sometimes tricky enough.  But finding the time to be still and silent… that’s really tough! But really necessary. Silence allows us to listen to the voice of God.  But as many of us have witnessed first-hand, what sometimes happens is that the Enemy whispers into our ear, “You can see clearly which is the correct path here . . . no need to bother the Lord with this one”…

Proverbs 2: “My son,if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”

When the need for continuous prayer confuses me, I go straight to the parable that Jesus taught on this very subject.  It’s a clear lesson that we can share with our own children which will explain why we pray and it validates that God our Father does listen to each and every one of us…no matter what our age, our Biblical knowledge, or even our lack of momentary discernment.  These are the words of Jesus; “Does any of you have a son? What would you do if your son asked you for a fish? Would any father give his son a snake? No! You would give him a fish. Or, if your son asks for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? No! {You are like all other people}–you are evil. But you know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father knows how to give the Holy Spirit to those people that ask him.” Luke 11:11-13

How important is prayer in your life?  How do you teach your children about the importance of prayer?

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