Prayer can never be fully understood this side of heaven. But even a child can pray. Beyond doubt, our God listens when we pray. He is a God who answers prayer. And the Bible records God’s miraculous answers to prayers.
There is no short cut to prayer or any substitute. To learn to pray, we have to pray. And a life devoted to prayer is one that can transform the one who prays so much that its benefits cannot be measured. A praying man or woman never remains the same. He or she is changed to Christ-likeness day after day.
One need not understand all about prayer to pray. To pray, one just needs to pray. That is all. It is so simple. Yet a lifetime is not enough to master prayer. It is so profound. Therefore pray!
The Basis of Prayer
“Why should we pray?” This is a question that is quite often asked.
Let me ask you a question if you are someone who doubts the necessity of prayer. “Why should friends talk?” Well, I suppose that you would answer, “Friends talk; because it is quite natural for them to talk.”
Then, know that God is your Friend. Therefore it is quite natural for us to talk to Him. That is one reason why we pray. It is talking to God and listening to His gentle whispers to our soul.
Let me ask you another question. “Why do lovers talk?” Well, you may answer, “It is because love is cemented and nourished when lovers talk. Talking is an expression of love.” Good. We pray because God is our Eternal Lover. And He loves to talk to His beloved. And He loves listening to us.
We fail to pray because we see prayer as some sort of religious duty. We will not stop praying, if we are able to understand it as an expression of our love for God. One last question. What would a home feel like where little children and parents do not talk to each other? I suppose it would be hell on earth.
A happy home is where children freely open their hearts and talk with parents; and parents talk to their children. That is what makes family life a joy.
The whole point is that God is our Father in heaven! He has made His home in our hearts till we reach the homes He has prepared for us in heaven. So, He expects us to talk to Him, and tell Him our needs like we tell our parents, since He has made His dwelling with us. It is then that Christian life will become a joy for you rather than observance of rules and regulations taught by men.
Obstacles to Prayer
There are only two things that can prevent you from talking to God. One is sin and the other is laziness. And both these problems are caused by a lack of love towards God.
So it means simply this that if you love God, which means you love God enough, you will quite naturally pray. For prayer is an expression of our love for God. And if we do not love God, quite naturally our life will be empty of prayer–its joy and its power!
Encouragement to Pray
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops (James 5:16 to 18 NIV).
This is a New Testament insight into the life of an Old Testament person. It says that Elijah was a man just like any one of us. He was not an extraordinary man. But he was earnest in prayer and the effects of his prayer were extraordinary.
This is a great encouragement for us to pray. It tells us that great things are possible in prayer. It is accomplished by earnest prayer which can be practised by ordinary people. The results are extraordinary because the One who answers prayer is God.
So let us all be encouraged to pray much in earnest. Then the works of God shall be made manifest. Therefore enter into communion with God in prayer. Wait at His feet in anticipation. He shall do some great things for you!