Prayer. What is prayer? Prayer is one of the greatest weapons that God has given His church. Simply put, prayer is the act of communicating and being in fellowship with God. It is vitally important that Christians recognize the significance and need for prayer in their lives. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Believe me, if a church does not pray, it is dead.” One cannot expect to grow spiritually nor can they be effective in ministry if they do not first seek to connect and relate to God. The devil would love nothing more than to have the church doubt and or devalue the power of prayer. Thus, prayer must be viewed as a priority of the church.
As we continue to experience suffering and uncertainty with the Covid-19 pandemic, people from all over the world are calling on the Lord and committing themselves to prayer. Why? Because they know prayer is powerful. Though it is wonderful to see so many praying to God, prayer should not only be done in times of distress, rather it should be a way of life.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 commands us to, “Pray without ceasing.”
Prayer should be a regular part of the Christian experience. It would be unnatural to consider yourself a follower of Christ if you did not communicate with Christ. Likewise, prayer is necessary for us to connect with God. Jesus was the prime example of someone who prioritized prayer. Luke 5:16 reveals that Jesus would often withdraw into the wilderness by Himself to seek and pray to God. Jesus knew that prayer was powerful because it allowed for Him to trust every need into the hands of an almighty God and seek counsel from His Heavenly Father. Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Prayer is a powerful tool that allows us to trust our circumstances to God and results in cultivating within us a supernatural peace that will guard and protect our hearts and minds. Scripture also tells us that when we pray, we are not petitioning an impersonal distant deity who has no regard for our well-being. Rather, when we pray, we speak to a God that promises to hear our concerns and ensures us that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 5:14).
However, prayer is not just a time to ask God for anything you want. God is not a genie in a bottle waiting to grant you wishes. He is the King and God of the universe. We are encouraged to bring our worries and concerns to God, but prayer is conversational. Prayer should be a time in which you seek to hear from God and be led by His Spirit. Romans 8:26 notes that the Spirit of God will assist those who pray and will help those who do not know what to pray for. Therefore, God will strengthen us and speak to us when we choose to pray. So, we can hear from God? Certainly! Though it may not be an audible voice, prayer allows us to become more sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting on our hearts, minds, and conscience.
Finally, prayer is transformative. When we pray, we become more like Christ. God uses our prayers to shape our will and align it with His own. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He told them to say, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Thus, the greatest answer to any prayer request is God’s will. Humbly ask God to lead you in the way you should go and trust His will for your life. Let us seek to be more like God as we commit ourselves more fully to a life of prayer and devotion and rejoice in the fact that our God hears us and cares for us. Prayer is powerful!
If you are wanting to be more intentional with your prayer life, but do not know where to start try using The ACTS Prayer Model to guide you as you communicate and fellowship with God.
The ACTS Prayer Model
Adoration: Tell God all the things you adore and love about Him.
Confession: Confess to God any sins that you are needing to repent of.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for all the blessings in your life.
Supplication: Share your concerns with God and ask Him to work on your behalf.
Bonus: Take a moment of silence to listen and see what God has to say to you.