Prayer: As natural as breathing
Why is prayer so important for a believer?
We can’t live any longer than just a few short minutes without breathing. When we think about someone who has asthma, who has difficulties breathing, their condition can affect their entire body. They might get sharp pains in their chest and have difficulties speaking when they have an attack. Breathing goes almost unnoticed by us on a daily basis, yet it is crucial for survival. Being able to breathe makes us so light and happy and it enables us to be active.
For a believer, prayer is or should be, like breathing, you can say. It is the lungs of a wholehearted, believing Christian. Without praying we can’t have faith living in us. It makes us happy, it makes us active and it makes things light and easy for us in daily life when we are in that presence, in that closeness with God. Actually, we can’t live without being in the spirit of prayer, that daily contact with God. That is how we get help, strength and answers to the big and small situations of life. (Hebrews 4:16)
Why do we pray?
We do not know what we should pray for, but we sense that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us and prays for us and makes things more living for us. (Romans 8:26-27) This helps us to turn to Him even more, and we enter into a good spirit of prayer, which accomplishes all things in our lives.
It is very closely tied to the ministry of the word: “… but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4. Prayer first, and then the ministry of the word. We can put it this way: It is the prayer that gives the power to be able to carry out the ministry of the word. Without an inner prayer to God, and being in the spirit of prayer, we don’t have that power within us that enables us to give nourishment and help through the Word.
It has the effect that we move God’s hands. If we pray for someone in Africa, God’s hands move over to Africa and He works in those whom we are interceding for. It gives us a mighty extended reach so that we can be active all around the world from where we are.
Paul had the daily concerns of, tasks that were laid upon him. (2 Corinthians 11:28) Those were prayers, which he made use of on a daily basis. He used ample time to think about the others and to pray for them, and for the churches. He sensed and knew their strengths and weaknesses and he interceded for them so that God could intervene. This also applies when someone has sinned, but not leading to death, as it’s written in 1 John 5:16. Then we should pray, and then God will give them life.
Prayer is an incredible, hidden and glorious ministry. God gives life to others through our prayers and that in turn brings forth an incredible thankfulness to God. Prayer has the effect that we are constantly in a state of thanksgiving. (Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 4:2)
“‘Prove Me now,’ we hear Him gently calling;
Blest are they who take Him at His Word.
Though all others may leave you or neglect you,
Yet by Him, each sigh will still be heard.
In the heart that feels its need and sorrow,
He creates with Words so wonderful.
If you place your life into His keeping,
He will open heaven over your soul.”