So how important is prayer?
The way of prayer is the way of life.
Prayer is absolutely vital. If we want to make any progress on the way of life, we need to understand why we ought to pray without ceasing, as Paul exhorts in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
The way of prayer is the way of life, “… for everyone who asks receives.” Luke 11:5-13 and Luke 18:1-8. The one who prays for eternal life receives eternal life. If he prays for more life, he will receive more life; if he prays to be preserved on the way of life, he will be preserved on it. The one who prays for power to live a better life — to make progress on the way — will receive power. If we pray for victory over everything that hinders us, over everything that quenches and hampers the life of God within us, we will get the victory. “You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2. “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
If you desire life, and life in abundance; if you want more and more of it; if you want to make constant progress, to be increasingly cleansed, purified, and conformed to the image of Christ; if you want to make steady progress — step by step — then pray and pray again: pray without ceasing! (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2-3)
The way of prayer is truly a way of life. Let us give ourselves to prayer! Jesus prayed much even though He was God’s only begotten Son from eternity past. He offered up prayers with vehement cries and tears. (Hebrews 5:7) “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” Mark 1:35.
We have no less of a need to seek out these solitary places, wherever it is most suitable to cry out from a fervent heart and with uplifted hands (as the Scriptures tell us many times was how they prayed in those days) no less than He did! It works wonders with far-reaching results! Only the one who has tried it knows this.
Daily, fervent prayer meetings have the same effect on a person as alternating rain and sunshine on a plant. (Acts 2:42,46; Acts 3:1; Jude 20-21)
Praying by yourself in your prayer closet, and having prayer meetings together with fervent souls are both first-class! They are bound to bring results — but dry forms and customs are worse than nothing at all!