Prayer is the means by which we can communicate with, and have
communion with, God. Prayer is the means by which we can find a covering for our
sins. It is indispensable, therefore, to the believer.
Sporadic prayer is not sufficient for the urgent and recurring
needs of today. The tendency to evil is with us always, and if we are not to
succumb repeatedly to its power, God must always be with us too. Prayer and evil
cannot live together; if one is present, the other must die. Obviously then it
is not enough to call God into a situation where our own ingenuity has failed
us, or where we feel particular need of comfort; we must so order our life that
we are constantly in touch with God throughout our waking hours.
Our first waking thought shall be of our Heavenly Father, our
first impulse shall be to worship Him, and our first action will be to bow
before Him in prayer. We shall be moved to acknowledge His majesty, His wisdom
and His goodness. We shall confess our need of Him and ask for His promised
protection, guidance, and help through an approaching day. We shall remember
before Him His promise never to leave or forsake us, and the assurance of His
Son to be with us always.
To begin our day with God in this manner is to begin
victoriously. We have the confidence, even before we meet the problems of the
day, that "everything that will happen will fit into a pattern for good." We
shall begin to know the power and tranquility of the promise: "Fear thou not;
for I am with thee... yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the
right hand of my righteousness." When we ask God to take this early initiative
each day, the power of evil will be given little encouragement.
But worship does not end with morning prayers; few of us would
be so bold as to say that our early communion with God will sustain us in our
struggles with the demands, the temptations and the problems of even the twelve
hours that follow it. And yet most of us must confess that all too often our
brief moments with God in the morning are followed by hours of forgetfulness.
However busy we may be, we shall have opportunities of recollection; sudden
temptation will bring a silent cry for help; consciousness of the need or sorrow
of a friend will evoke our unspoken intercession. And to the discerning eye
there will be so many sights which will be a source of thanksgiving. So amid the
worry of the day's business with all its confusing noise, we shall be able to
turn aside and find inner quietness and strength in the presence of
And when the day is over we can bow before Him once more in
the confidence that He is waiting to meet with us, more ready to hear than we
are to speak. We shall rejoice in the certainty that He is offering us His
blessing and fellowship in spite of our failures. We shall have sins to confess
and forgiveness to seek in the name of His Son. There will be much to thank our
Father for, so many to pray for, and a glorious hope to acknowledge gratefully.
And thus refreshed we can lie down, knowing the peace of sins forgiven and the
joy of a life surrendered to the grace of God.
* THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER:
1. At all times: Eph 6:18.
2. Because of the adversary.
3. "You don't have because you don't ask": Jam 4:2.
4. Apostles re prayer: Act 6:4; Rom 1:9; Eph 1:15,16; Col 1:9;
1Th 3:10; 2Ti 1:3.
5. Importance to Jesus: Mar 1:35; Luk 6:12; Joh 17.
6. Christ's intercession: Heb 7:25.
7. To obtain mercy and grace: Heb 4:16; Luk 18:1.
8. To obtain fullness of joy: Joh 16:24.
9. Freedom from anxiety: Phi 4:6,7.
10. To remove pressure of this life: Luk 21:34,36.
* WHAT PRAYER DOES:
1. Promotes spiritual growth: Psa 139:3,4; Psa 51:12; Jam
2. Brings power to bear.
3. Avails to convert others.
4. Brings ecclesial blessings.
* PRAYER TO GOD:
Talk to God, with ceasing, intensely: Luk 22:44; Heb 5:7; Rom
United prayer: Mat 18:19; Act 12:5.
* OBEDIENCE, TRUTH NEEDED: 1Jo 3:22; Psa 145:18.
* IN CHRIST'S NAME: 1Jo 5:14,15.
* IN FAITH: Mar 11:24; Rom 10:17.
Always pray: Luk 11:5-8; 18:1-8.
Abide in Christ: Joh 15:7.
* THANKSGIVING: Phi 4:6; Luk 17:16.
* FOR SPECIAL EFFORTS: Act 1:14; 2:42.
* HINDRANCES TO PRAYER:
1. Asking amiss: Jam 4:3.
2. Your sins: Isa 59:2.
3. Ignoring others: Pro 21:13.
4. Stopping ears: Luk 6:38.
5. Lack of forgiveness: Luk 6:38.
6. Wrong relations: 1Pe 3:7.
7. Doubting: Jam 5:7.
* WHEN TO PRAY:
1. All night: Luk 6:12; Mar 1:35.
2. Before crisis: Luk 6:12,13; 9:18; 3:21; Mar 1:35; Luk
3. After achievements: Mat 14:23; Joh 6:15.
4. When busy: Luk 5:15,16.
5. Before temptation: Mat 26:36.
6. At all times: 1Th 5:17; Eph 6:18.
* PRAYER FOR OTHERS: Jam 5:16; 2Th 3:1; Eph 6:17,18; 1Ti 2:1;
Gen 18:23-32; Job 42:10.