It seems that the less we think of the nature and character of God, and the less we are reminded of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross, the less we want to pray! Prayer is an act of worship and is our means of communication with God; our connection to Him and His connection to us. As Greg Laurie so aptly put it: "True prayer is what happens when our will is aligned with the will of God, and we pray accordingly."
The Lord expects us to pray (Colossians 4:2 says: 'Devote yourselves to prayer') and He expects us to 'Pray continually' (1 Thess. 5:17).
We so often come to the Lord in prayer with our 'shopping list' and then get irritated or frustrated with Him when He 'doesn't answer our prayers' (our way). What we forget is that these prayers would probably be answered 'our way' if 'our way' were actually in line with God's way!
A good model/guide that I follow which one can use when coming before the Lord in prayer, might be:
A: Adoration (worship)
C: Confession (of specific sins)
T: Thanksgiving (gratitude)
S: Supplication (specific requests)
There are times when we tend to pray more earnestly and persistently, like when illness strikes or finances are particularly tight, or when we are seeking the Lord for a particular decision that needs to be made.
As a mother and wife, I pray daily, without fail, several times for my husband and children. For physical and spiritual protection; not to be led into temptation; for continued and growing relationships with Christ; for future spouses for my children, for us as a family unit to remain strong in Him and grow in Him together, and so much more.
We can be CERTAIN that the Lord hears our prayers! David states: 'O you who hear prayer...' (Ps 65:2)
If the Lord does not answer our petitions straight away, we should persevere in prayer. In Luke 18:1b we read, 'that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.' We should, however, also ask ourselves if the Lord is not answering because we are asking for things that are outside His will, or things that do not glorify Him. Or perhaps ask if our motives are selfish? Or are we not confessing and dealing with some sin is our lives? Once these questions are answered (honestly!) and we find no fault from our side, then persevere! The Lord will answer in His perfect time.
Prayer is powerful! God answers prayer! Prayer should be a daily necessity in our lives - like breathing!
We are to pray for fellow believers and be in constant prayer for our fellow church members, praying for continual unity in Christ. Very importantly, we need to pray for our church leadership: for the Lord to strengthen them, to protect them and their families and to guide them in the great task they have been given.
The Word says: 'Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints' (Ephesians 6:18). Notice the use of the word 'all' in this verse. We are to pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayer and requests, and for all the saints!
Written by Ruth Möller