Why Is Prayer Important as Christians?

 In Christian Mum

A popular question amongst new Christians is: Why is prayer important? Especially since God knows everything anyway.

At the start of this year, a sermon at our local church carried this title: ‘The Most Powerful Weapon: Payer’.

As Christians, I’m pretty sure we all agree with this statement. Prayer is our number one communication with the Lord.

Jesus told us on several occasions to pray, and He even gave us the perfect example of what a prayer should look like.

Unfortunately, many Christians don’t pray even close to enough. Some people only pray when they’re in trouble, suffering, or going through extreme trials. When everything is smooth sailing, they don’t seem to know our Lord. It’s sad, really. Very sad.

‘To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing’ {Martin Luther}

Especially in the times we’re living in now, prayer should be constantly on our mind. But why?

Let’s find the answer in our Bible!

A popular question amongst new Christians is: why is prayer important? Especially when God knows everything. The Bible explains it perfectly. #prayer #prayertips #whypray #christianprayer #thelordsprayer #bible

1. Why Should People Pray?

Before I became a Christian, I wondered the same thing: ‘Why is prayer important? Why should people even bother to pray?’ -> My reason for this?

Well, when I was 15 years old, I prayed every night. I was raised as a Catholic – they like to pray the rosary.

During this time, my father battled cancer. We visited Lourdes in France, a very popular place to go when people are sick. My dad got me a rosary and since that day, I prayed it every evening.

And not just one section of the rosary (as you’re supposed to). No, I prayed the whole thing – every night! I figured, the more I prayed, the better. Right?

Just so you know, it’s true… it’s better to pray more than less. But praying repetitive prayers, like the rosary, isn’t Biblical {Matthew 6:7}. And sometimes God’s will just doesn’t align with ours; prayers aren’t always answered as we’d like.

I guess, you already know where I’m getting with this. My dad still died. I don’t remember how much time passed between visiting Lourdes and him passing away, but I stopped praying then and there. I felt my prayers were absolutely ignored and put my rosary away.

Why pray if God doesn’t hear and answer any way?

The truth is… He does hear and answer. Just not always in the way we desire.

God has a plan for us. For everyone of us. And sometimes our requests don’t align with His plan. But since He’s God, His plan is always better.

A. God Listens to Our Prayers

Although 15 year old Ann wouldn’t have believed this, I know now that God does in fact listen to our prayers. Not only have I discovered many times that He does, the Bible is full of verses witnessing to His listening ear.

Here is just a handful of Scriptures that show God listens to our prayers.

‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing 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’ {1 John 5:14, 15 KJV}

‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land’ {2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV}

‘Then ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you’ {Jeremiah 29:12 KJV}

‘I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech’ {Psalm 17:6 KJV}

‘The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous’ {Proverbs 15:29 KJV}

B. Prayer Draws Us Near to God

The more we pray, the closer our relationship will be with God. This also means that there is less chance to be deceived, and more chance to be protected from evil.

‘Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually’ {1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV}

‘The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth’ {Psalm 145:18 KJV}

‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleans your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded’ {James 4:8 KJV}

C. Other People Need Our Prayers

Not only do we pray for ourselves and our own desires, our family and friends – even strangers – need our prayers too. Especially when they haven’t been convicted by the Spirit yet, and live in this world without Jesus.

It’s a tough and hard world to live in without knowing our Saviour. Those people are in desperate need of our prayers.

And then there are so many fellow Christians out-there who are persecuted on a daily base.

Did you know that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world? The first time I heard this, I was very surprised.

Then I realised, it shouldn’t surprise me at all, really. Jesus warns us for the persecution and hardship that comes from following Him.

So, don’t forgot others when you pray! They need our prayers just as much, if not more.

‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints’ {Ephesians 6:18 KJV}

Jesus prayed for us: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil’ {John 17:15 KJV}

Jesus even tells us to pray for our enemies: ‘… and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you’ {Matthew 5:44 KJV}

A popular question amongst new Christians is: why is prayer important? Especially when God knows everything. The Bible explains it perfectly. #prayer #prayertips #whypray #christianprayer #thelordsprayer #bible

D. God Answers Our Prayers

As I mentioned before, it may not allows look like God answers our prayers. But He does.

Sometimes the answer arrives quickly, sometimes we need to be patient. Other times, the answer is completely different than what we hoped for.

‘Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ {Mark 11:24 KJV}

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ {Matthew 7:7 KJV}

‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him’ {James 1:5 KJV}

‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ {John 14:13 KJV}

‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive’ {Matthew 21:22 KJV}

E. Prayer Protects Us From the Enemy

The closer we become to God, the harder it is for the devil to come between us.

So, people pray to seek protection from the enemy. To stay away from sin and temptation.

For if we love God with all our heart, and all our mind, and all our soul, we will keep His commandments. And stay safe.

‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’ {Matthew 26:41 KJV}

‘But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil’ {2 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV}

‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed’ {2 Corinthians 4:8, 9 KJV}

‘Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name’ {Psalm 91:14 KJV}

F. Prayers Are Pleasing to God

People who truly love God, will love to please Him. There are many ways to please God. Prayer is one of them.

‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight’ {Proverbs 15:8 KJV}

‘I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our saviour’ {1 Timothy 2:1-3 KJV}

G. Jesus Prayed

And last, but definitely not least! We should pray because Jesus prayed.

Jesus came here to save us from sin. He was the greatest teacher that ever walked on this Earth. That also means that we, as His disciples, need to follow His example. We need to be like Jesus in every way.

On so many occasions in the Bible, we find Jesus in prayer to His Father. Here are a few of these verses:

‘And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone’ {Matthew 14:23 KJV}

‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed’ {Mark 1:35 KJV}

‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt’ {Matthew 26:39 KJV}

Ellen G. White brings to our attention the necessity of prayer. If Jesus felt the need to pray – as the Son of God – how much more should we have to pray as sinners! She writes:

‘Jesus Himself, while He dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified Himself with our needs and weakness, in that He became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, that He might come forth braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, “in all points tempted like as we are;” but as the sinless one His nature recoiled from evil; He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege. He found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer‘ {SC 93.4}

2. Why Pray if God Knows Everything

I guess this might be a common question, especially amongst atheists or new Christians. God knows everything. The Bible tells us so many times.

So why would we spend time praying if He knows what we need and want anyway? Why is prayer important when we have an omniscient God?

We don’t pray to inform God about what happened in our lives, or what we need. We pray because it brings us closer to Him. Prayer brings us up to heaven.

Ellen G. White wrote these beautiful words in ‘Steps to Christ’:

‘Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him’ {SC 93.2}

I personally have noticed, that if I don’t make enough time to pray, it leaves a door open for the enemy to enter. As praying brings us closer to God, not praying moves us further away from Him.

A popular question amongst new Christians is: why is prayer important? Especially when God knows everything. The Bible explains it perfectly. #prayer #prayertips #whypray #christianprayer #thelordsprayer #bible

3. How To Pray According to the Lord’s Prayer

And of course, our Saviour would not dare to leave us hanging and forget to teach us how to pray.

Probably, the most famous prayer found in the Bible is the Lord’s Prayer. This is the perfect outline of what a prayer should look like.

A. Your Prayer Should Focus on God First

Just like the first 4 commandments honour God, your prayer should start with a focus on God.

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come’ {Matthew 6:9 KJV}

Start with praising God first. He’s our Father and the Creator of all things. He gave us His only begotten Son, so we might be saved through Him.

Although our own nature is inclined to go against Him, He won’t give up on us. His mercy, grace, and love are never ending. He deserves our praise!

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ {Matthew 6:10 KJV}

Whichever way you feel guided by the Spirit to start your praise to God, it’s important to acknowledge that His will be done.

After all, He’s God. He knows everything. He knows what is best, even though you may believe something else to be better.

God’s plan is always better than ours. Even Jesus acknowledged this when He prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ {Matthew 26:39 KJV}

B. Pray for Others and Us

The second part of the Lord’s prayer shifts the focus to ‘us’. This resembles the other 6 commandments that show us how to treat our neighbours.

‘Give us this day our daily bread’ {Matthew 6:11 KJV}

Notice here that He uses the word ‘us’ and not ‘me’. This reveals that we need to pray for others as well. A prayer solely focused on ‘me-me-me’ just becomes selfish, and most likely everything but humbling.

Our daily bread here refers to the need of God’s Word. Although we need bread to eat, ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ {Matthew 4:4 KJV}.

‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors’ {Matthew 6:12 KJV}

Prayer should also include a repentance of our sins and a plead to forgive them. Jesus mentions here ‘as we forgive’ which means that God will forgive us as we forgive others.

Pray that you may be able to forgive your brothers and sisters in the same way as Jesus would forgive them. Because God will forgive you the same way that you forgive others.

‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’ {Matthew 6:13 KJV}

Some people state here that God is the one leading into temptation, but He really isn’t. The Bible states: ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed’ {James 1:13, 14 KJV}.

We need to pray for deliverance of evil, to keep us safe from the enemy. In this time specifically, we need to ‘pray without ceasing’ {1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV} or else we risk being tempted and fail.

C. Bring the Focus Back to God

‘…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen’ {Matthew 6:13 KJV}

Just as you started the prayer, you’ll also end it – with a focus on God.

Personally, I like to thank Him for the blessings and promises He’s given, for saving us, for His never-ending love and grace.

And as probably every Christian does, I end it with the words ‘In Jesus’ name’. Be careful though, when using these final words. They cannot become just a routine, a ritual you’re just adding to the pray. That’s why I like to shake up the words a bit as I feel led by the Spirit.

For example, ‘In our Saviour’s precious name of Jesus’ or ‘In the name of your only begotten Son Jesus’.

‘But to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works’ {SC 100.2} 

So, why is prayer important as a Christian? Prayer is essential because:

  • Prayer brings us closer to God
  • God hears and answers our prayers
  • Other people need our prayers
  • Prayer protects us from evil
  • Prayer pleases God
  • Jesus is our example and He prayed too

Jesus has given us a perfect example of how to pray through the Lord’s prayer found in Matthew 6. His intercessory prayer for us in John 17 is another great example of how Christians should pray.

Do you have another reason why you find prayer so important and necessary? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

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