By: Waylon Bailey ~
Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. It is indispensable in living a life of devotion to God and a necessity for understanding God’s will.
What specifically does prayer do for us?
First, prayer causes us to acknowledge who God is. When Nehemiah prayed, he called on the Lord (the personal name for God used by the Israelites) the God of heaven who is faithful to His people (Nehemiah 1:5). One of the important aspects of genuine prayer is how it makes us acknowledge God. Half of a millennium later, Jesus taught His disciple to call God the Father who is in heaven.
Though Nehemiah lived for from Jerusalem and probably had never been to Israel, he knew that God hears our prayers. He is the God of heaven.
Second, prayer causes us to look seriously at ourselves and our problem with sin. Nehemiah acknowledged his sin and the sin of the Israelites. They suffered because of sin.
In my sermon preparation last week, I ran across a statement that God is always more eager to forgive our sins than we are to confess them. Genuine prayer makes us deal seriously with our sin problem.
Third, prayer causes us ask God for His favor, blessing, and help. How good it is for us to ask. Jesus told His disciple to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking. We need to ask and thank God for daily bread, and we need for Him to protect us from the evil one. At the same time, we need so much more from our loving heavenly Father.
Finally (all the benefits of prayer can’t be contained in a brief blog), prayer puts us into the very presence of God. As I consider prayer, I find this to be the most wonderful aspect of prayer. As we enjoy God’s company in prayer, we receive a small foretaste of our heavenly home.
For all these reasons and more, we must be people of constant, persistent, and fervent prayer.
Have a great week!