Prayer can be confusing for many people. What is it, really? Is it merely asking God to bless your food before you eat? Is it a list of requests you bring to God as you kneel next to your bed at night? A memorized set of phrases? Or is it something more?
Prayer is definitely a big concept, and until we get to heaven, we won’t fully understand everything about it. However, we can discover its essential purpose by looking to the Scriptures, which paints a true picture of prayer. From Genesis to Revelation, we see God establishing His relationship with us through prayer. Before everything else, God wants us to come to Him with our thoughts, our feelings, our worries and our needs.
In 1 Timothy, Paul wrote to Timothy, the pastor of the church at Ephesus, and told him that before he did anything else, he needed to pray. Timothy was like a son to Paul, and Paul wanted him to understand that prayer forms the foundation of the Christian life. He encouraged Timothy to live a life of prayer and then teach others how to do the same. As a believer, the same instructions apply to you, because the true source of your strength and of the Church as a whole lies in a lifestyle of prayer.
The best example of what a lifestyle of prayer looks like can be seen in the life of Jesus. Many people often think of prayer in terms of having a set quiet time in the morning with God. And while that can be a part of it, it’s not the whole picture. A look through the Gospels shows us that Jesus’ prayers were incredibly dynamic, honest and authentic—from the simple structure of the Lord’s Prayer to His heartbroken plea in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus showed us that at its core, prayer is simply all about relationship with our heavenly Father. And through this relationship, God accomplished His perfect will in Jesus’ life.
In the same way, God’s will is accomplished in our lives through prayer. From the beginning, God’s desire has been for us to walk in the same kind of relationship with Him as Jesus did each and every day. He loves us more than we could ever imagine, and He cares enough to listen and respond to our prayers.
You have the opportunity to live in conversation with Him—sharing your heart with Him and listening to His heart. Right here, right now, you can live in the greatest relationship imaginable—a relationship with God! Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart so you can start living out the same kind of dynamic, vibrant relationship with Him as Jesus modeled.
You’ll never be able to put God first in areas of your life, if you don’t put prayer first. The power to put God first comes from prayer.
~ Robert Morris