Brothers and Sisters—how is your prayer life? Is it excellent, good, average, poor, or terrible? Wherever we may land on the grading scale, always remember that God sincerely desires to hear the heart cry of His children.
Prayer is that special gift of God that, by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the position of Jesus Christ our High Priest, allows us to communicate perfectly with Him. Like our voice over a fiber optic phone line to a friend, our prayers are carried instantaneously to the throne of the Almighty. However, what is the content of the message that is sent? Let’s take a moment and test this aspect of our prayer life. For example:
For what do I pray? The prayers of many people are confined to petitions for themselves and their families. Mature believers know that prayer includes much more than requests, and that requests include much more than selfish requests.
When do I pray? Some people never pray. Others pray only when the going gets rough. Still others pray only at special times. The foundation of a life of prayer ought to be a personal time of prayer each day.
Am I on praying ground? Mature Christians come to God with hearts that are open and lives that are committed to Him. They are on praying ground because they are living to the best of their ability. They are not clinging to unconfessed sins that block the channels of prayer.
Do I pray earnestly? Mumbling a few words before we eat or at bedtime hardly qualifies for the kind of prayer described in James 5:16-18. Real prayer is earnest and persistent because moral and spiritual needs are deep and serious.
Do I pray in faith? Praying in faith means two things. First, as I pray, I must have the confidence to know that God can do whatever is needed to have my prayers answered. Second, the basis for this is not the greatness of my faith, but the greatness of the God to whom I pray.
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, those who have been called from the deep darkness into the glorious light, those who have been washed in the precious blood of Jesus Himself, those who are the redeemed from the foundations of creation—pray! Pray unselfishly, pray often, pray righteously, pray earnestly, pray in faith, and, by all means, pray hard!