JANUARY 3 , 2023
The Importance Of Prayer
“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)
Jesus’ Disciples had been with Him for some time when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. They had heard Him preach powerful messages and had seen Him performing great miracles. But, as far as we know, they didn’t ask Jesus to teach them how to preach or perform miracles. Instead, they asked Him to teach them how to pray. They did so because they realized that Jesus’ prayer relationship with God the Father was the key to Him having the supernatural power and direction that He had in His life.
The Disciples request of Jesus reminds us that Prayer is the most important of the spiritual exercises. Sometimes people will ask, “Which is more important - Prayer or Bible study?” And my answer is, “That’s like asking which is more important - the right wing or left wing of an airplane. They are both extremely important.” But I believe that Prayer is the most important of Christian activities, because it connects us to the Lord’s presence, which leads us to experience the Lord’s peace, purposes, power and provision in our lives.
Having an effective prayer life is difficult for many Christians because of schedules, constant distractions, and the fact that prayer is hard to do well. To have an effective prayer life, we must determine a time and place where we will spend time with God. We need to add these times to our calendar as an ongoing daily appointment with the Lord, and then commit to making that appointment. The Bible tells us that Daniel prayed to the Lord three times a day (Daniel 6:10). That’s a great example for us. We should have at least one daily “prayer appointment” with the Lord. If we were given an appointment with a person of prominence in our world, we would do everything in our power to keep that appointment. We must have the same determination and diligence when it comes to meeting with the Lord in prayer if we want to have a strong prayer life.
When would be a good time for you to meet with God during the Prayer and Fasting emphasis? Some people choose to get up early in the morning and block off 15-30 minutes for praying to the Lord. That’s what I prefer to do. I tell people that since the Devil has been up working all night long, the best time to catch him at his weakest is early in the morning. Other people like to pray while they’re driving to work. Some people pray when they arrive at work before they begin their day. Some people pray during their lunch hour, while others pray at night. I heard someone say a long time ago, “Hem in both ends of the day with prayer and it’s less likely to unravel.” That made a lot of sense to me, so that’s what I try to do. It really doesn’t matter when we make time during the day to pray. The important thing is that we do take time to pray every day.
Someone once said, “If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Often, Christians don’t have a vibrant and victorious prayer life because they’ve not specifically planned to have one. Remember: Prayer is the key to experiencing the Lord’s presence, direction, and power in our lives. If we’re going to be strong and consistent prayer warriors, we should schedule a time and place that is reserved for meeting with the Lord.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Commit to the Lord that you are going to “pray and seek His face” every day during the emphasis. (For a family activity, discuss how important it is to “pray and seek God’s face.” Then, pray as a family and commit to the Lord that you are going to do so throughout the emphasis.)
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, teach me to pray like You taught Your disciples to pray - so I can encounter Your presence, discover Your will, experience Your peace, and be filled with Your power. With Your help, I plan to consistently spend time in prayer every day for the “14 Days of Prayer and Fasting” time. I look forward to receiving Your direction for my life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.