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Rediscover the Gift of Conversation with God
Do we still believe in prayer today? Well, in a way. Many Christians are willing to pray fervently for wealth and health and a big new house and a shiny new car. They are willing to pray for a promotion or for good weather on their vacation. But how many of those eager prayer warriors are also praying for the fulfillment of the Great Commission, for the protection of believers who are being persecuted, for the effectiveness of evangelistic ministries at home and abroad? Are we simply immature children asking our Daddy in heaven to give us the goodies we want?
There is nothing wrong with pouring out our wants and needs before the Lord. But if selfish requests are the sum total of our prayers, then we have a stunted and immature prayer life. God is gracious, and he is always there for us when we are in a crisis. But a healthy prayer life involves so much more than sending God our 911 calls and wish lists. If God hears from us only when we’re in trouble, what does that say about our love for Him and our desire to be in fellowship with Him?
Many Christians today seem to have a weak and insipid walk with God. They lack power in their lives. They lack joy. They lack the ability to overcome sins and bad habits. Why do so many Christians experience such an anemic Christian life? I believe that, in most cases, it’s because we fail to practice a biblical prayer life.
But why does prayer make such a difference? Couldn’t God do all that he’s doing around the world without our prayers? Isn’t God able to bless ministries, touch lives, heal broken hearts, and call lost souls to himself without our prayers? Of course he could. He is God. He doesn’t need our prayers.
And yet, God has chosen to involve us, mere fallen human beings, in his eternal plan for history. He doesn’t need us—but he loves us. He doesn’t need us—but he chooses us. He doesn’t need us—but he involves us in the all-important work he is doing. And in some mysterious way that is far beyond human understanding, he accomplishes his work through our prayers. Obviously, the power of prayer does not reside in us; it’s God’s power alone. But God has designed the universe in such a way that the prayers of God’s people draw upon the sovereign power of God. The result: Prayer changes things. Prayer makes big things happen.
God will honor the prayers of his faithful and obedient followers. But in order to honor those prayers, we have to be on our knees praying those prayers. Do you have a biblical prayer life? Do you daily have a two-way conversation with God?