The Word of God makes it clear: Prayer is the act of communicating with God. If prayer is the means of communication between an earthly believer and the heavenly Father, the believer should look forward to this means of speaking with the Father who is also our mentor. Let’s explore seven vital reasons for prayer.
1. Prayer is required to be forgiven.I’ve spoken to you about miracles already, but the greatest miracle that could ever be performed is for God to forgive sin.
However, one cannot be forgiven simply by thinking he is sorry for his sin. One cannot be forgiven by having good intentions. The only way a person can be forgiven is by confessing sin before a holy God. This requires prayer.
The psalmist provided us with an excellent example of this relationship between confession and forgiveness that comes through prayer when he wrote, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Ps. 32:5).
2. Prayer is required to develop an intimate relationship with God.Another psalmist, writing in Psalm 116, describes how the habit of prayer caused him to know God hears and answers prayer: “I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe! Death stared me in the face—I was frightened and sad. Then I cried, ‘Lord, save me!’ How kind he is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects the simple and the childlike; I was facing death, and then he saved me. Now I can relax. For the Lord has done this wonderful miracle for me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall live! Yes, in his presence—here on earth!” (Ps. 116:1-9, LB).
As one reads through these verses, the intimacy between the writer and his God is striking. The practice of prayer led to an intimate relationship between God and the psalmist. He says of God: “He answers my prayers.” “He bends down and listens.” “I will pray as long as I breathe.” “How kind he is.” “How good he is.” “So merciful, this God of ours.” “He saved me.”
As I mentioned earlier, for the believer all intimacy is born out of trust. Through this psalmist’s prayer life, he learned to trust God. We should practice prayer for the purpose of developing intimacy with God. No prayer, no intimacy.
3. Prayer is required to maintain purity.A believer can break fellowship with God while serving in various roles. Serving does not promote purity, nor does it insulate us from failing. The only thing that can prevent a person from being caught up in a sinful lifestyle is a consistent, audacious prayer life. Believers who have a daily prayer time are much less likely to backslide.
When we are tempted to sin, the fact that we know we are meeting with God later in the day or the next morning can keep us from committing that sin. A believer who is consistent in prayer knows that sin causes him to dread his prayer time.
A consistent prayer life causes a believer to quit sinning, or else sin will cause the believer to quit praying. The choice is left to the believer. In our journey, the only way we can hope to live according to God’s standards is to have a consistent prayer life that develops purity within and manifests itself in every action we take.
4. Prayer is required to walk in faith.In 39 years of ministry, I have yet to meet one person I believed to have great faith who did not have a consistent prayer life.
According to Romans 12:3, every believer begins his spiritual journey with exactly the same amount of faith: “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (KJV, emphasis added). When I read this verse, I often picture the Father holding a specific unit of measure and doling out faith to each of us. The level of faith a believer is capable of attaining depends on how one goes about exercising his faith, and the exercising of faith is directly tied to our prayer life.
We should pray, making our requests known to God. When He answers our prayer, our faith rises to a new level. Each prayer we see answered enables us to believe God for larger things. Consistent prayer grows our faith, and our faith unlocks the door to the storehouse of God.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.