Prayer is the way we communicate directly with God. It is our opportunity to thank Him, praise Him, and take our requests to Him. This is the time to pour out our thoughts, concerns, and fears to the One who can actually help us with them all. When we realize the importance and power of prayer, we make it a very active part of our daily life. Considering all of this, a look at scriptural prayer references can help us understand the reasons for and ways of prayer as we draw closer to our Heavenly Father.
We pray to God through His Son Jesus as our intercessor. In John 16:23b, Jesus says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.” And we pray with the help of the Holy Spirit; as we read in Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Rather we pray silently or aloud; rather we sit, stand, kneel, or lie prostrate; rather we recite a written prayer or speak informally; we must have faith when we pray. In James 1:6-7 we are told, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And Ephesians 6:18 tells us, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Although most of us cannot be on our knees in constant prayer throughout each day, we can keep God in our thoughts and our hearts, communicating with Him as we go through our daily lives. When we realize that God is always with us, and truly cares for us, it is easier to keep our minds on Him and His will, rather than allowing distractions to pull us away and opening the door to doubt and confusion. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When we make God an integral part of our lives, we will begin to see His hand in every part of it.
When we love other people, we want to spend time with them; we enjoy talking with them and discussing many things. But most of all we seek a close, intimate relationship with those we love, rather that is as a parent, a child, a spouse, or a close friend. Why should our relationship with God be any less intimate? After all, He is not only our Creator, but His love for us overshadows our own capacity as humans to love Him in return. He gave His most precious gift that we might have a relationship with Him. The depth of His love is immense and far beyond our understanding, so why would we neglect such a kind, loving God in our life? We can be confident in His love for us and His desire to help us. In 1 John 5:14-15, we are told, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” And in Psalm 55:22, we read, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Peter says it clearly, in chapter 5, verse 7, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”
We read scripture after scripture about God’s amazing love, mercy, and grace for His children. We have verse after verse letting us know that we can go to our Heavenly Father with any and every problem, and that He will always be there for us. This short blog did not touch on all the scriptural references to prayer, much less God’s responsiveness to them, for there are too many to include them all here. I hope you will each take time to study more on the many reasons and results of prayer in our lives. And always remember what 1 Peter 3:12 says, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”
God is listening. The question remains, are we praying? As the words of King David in Psalm 19:14, I pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the mediation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
Grace and blessings on your path,