Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about the power of prayer and why it really does matter. I confess that this has been a weak area in my spiritual walk for a while. I tell other people to pray, yet neglect it in my own life. People share a prayer request with me, and I say “I’ll pray for you”, yet often times, I don’t pray for them. I sometimes think that simply saying “I’ll pray for you” counts as a prayer!
This came to a tipping point for me recently, when I realized that a life with minimum prayer just isn’t healthy. When we don’t pray, we often fill that time with other things for a temporary fill up or satisfaction. I’ve noticed that for me, one of those fill up’s can be social media. For those of you that know me, you know that I gravitate towards people. I enjoy being connected to people, and I often get filled up by people. Although, I need my alone time too, but none the less, I enjoy being connected to people. Social media is one way to easily do that, especially with friends and family that don’t live near you. But, if I’m not careful, I begin to fill my idle time with way too much scrolling and screen time. When I do this, I have found myself comparing my life to other people, and I could sense roots of jealousy and discontentment beginning to grow in my heart. My mind recently came to a very dark place, because I wasn’t filling it with prayer and a true love for God over everything else.
It was in that moment that I had just had enough, and I knew God was breaking me down, in order for me to come running back to Him.
Here is what I learned and continue to learn about prayer through that experience:
- Prayer reminds us that we need to depend on God.
In all reality, we are meant to depend on God. I love to read through the Psalms and see how people would pour out their hearts to God. Real people being real with God. When we neglect spending time with God, we are basically giving into the lie that we don’t need God. The act of prayer in itself is a declaration of our need for God. When we communicate with Him, we are acknowledging that He knows better.
- Prayer puts things back into perspective.
I have noticed in my life then when I pray, I simply feel better. My mindset changes. My spirits are lifted. My outlook changes. I am more thankful for what I have, and less focused on what I don’t have. I look to and think more about the needs of others. When I pray, I’m reminded that God is God and I am not. A God sized perspective is a healthy perspective.
- Prayer positions us for great things.
Those of us that know Christ have the ability to approach the throne of grace with confidence, as Hebrews 4:16 says! Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we can truly approach God. Because we can approach God, we can also come to Him, plead with Him, cry out to Him, and also ask Him. God is not like a genie and a bottle, giving us everything we want when we ask. Rather, God gives us what we need. He also wants our hearts desires to be met though, but knows how to do this in his perfect sovereignty when we come to Him in prayer. We should pray for healing, restoration, blessings, provisions, and so much more, but do it in Jesus name!
- Prayer helps us fight our battles.
Prayer is our weapon against the enemy, as Ephesians 6 says. Our prayers in Jesus name have power and authority over all evil! We aren’t just praying aimlessly to a random person or thing, rather, we are praying to the God of the universe, in the power and authority that he gives us. This is our defense and our weapon. Prayer has power!
Did you know that Jesus also commands us to pray? He longs to hear from us and desires for us to draw near to Him.
Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Notices that Jesus says when, not if.
If you are struggling to pray, it’s okay. I’m still there too, and we always will be to some extent. The good news is that it’s never too late to get back on it. I can promise you that a life of prayer if a life of power and peace. This is why we pray, because it makes a difference and changes lives!