The Importance Of Prayer
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” —Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV
Jesus knew the importance of prayer and practiced it regularly. He often slipped away from the crowds to commune with God. Then He would receive the guidance and strength necessary to carry on His Father’s work.
In teaching about the power of prayer Jesus promised us that God will always answer. He used three words to help us pray effectively: ask, seek and knock.
We are to come to God with our requests. In doing so we are acknowledging both our need and God’s ability to meet it. Jesus assures us that every request will be granted in accordance with our Father’s best for us and others.
Sometimes the Lord asks us to get involved in the situation about which we are praying. For example, we may be petitioning for Him to help us find a new job. He wants us not only to seek His wisdom and guidance but also to take practical steps to discover what is available. When we obey His directions, God promises to provide the answer.
In carrying out the Father’s plan we will encounter obstacles along the way. For us to overcome them, sustained and persistent praying may be required. Knocking implies a level of force being applied so that a door will be answered and opened. Once God presents the solution, we need no longer ask. When He opens up a path, we should walk on it.
Prayer accomplishes much (Jas. 5:16). It engages the Lord in people’s personal lives as well as in the affairs of government. It is the way we experience oneness with our Father and receive the essentials needed to carry out His work.
Five Conditions Of Prevailing Prayer
- Entire dependence upon the merits and meditation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only ground of any claim for blessing (Jn. 14:13-14, 15:16).
- Separation from all known sin. If we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us for it would be sanctioning sin (Ps. 66:18).
- Faith in God’s Word of promise as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him both a liar and perjurer (Heb. 11:6, 6:13-20).
- Asking in accordance with His will. Our motives must be godly: We must not seek any gift of God to consume it on our lusts or wants (1 Jn. 5:14; Jas. 4:3).
- Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God and waiting for God, as the husbandman [farmer] has long patience to wait for the harvest (Jas. 5:7; Lk. 18:1-8).
—George Mueller (1805–1898)
By Timothy P. Hadley