Friday, December 09, 2005

Motivation to Pray

When it comes to prayer, every Christian (that I know at least) agrees that its a good thing and that it is definitely needed, but sometimes I wonder just how many of us actually do it. Too often I hear the excuse... "I don't know how to pray," or "I don't know what to pray for." That's one reason for creating this new "Prayer Page," which is to teach us to pray. Allow me first of all, to give you some motivation for prayer. Here are 4 quick reasons we should be motivated to pray.

1. We should pray b/c Jesus expects us to do it.
First, we must understand that prayer is not an option for the Christian. Jesus said in Matt.6:5, "When you pray...," Not... "If you pray" but "When you pray." In other words, Jesus expects His disciples to pray.

2. We should pray b/c we've been commanded to do it.
Not only does Jesus expect it, but He's commanded us to pray. In Phil 4:6 the Bible says, "Be anxious for nothing (i.e. don't worry), but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." So, He's saying "Hey insteading of worrying and fretting about everything, tell God what you need and desire! So not only does God expect us to pray, He even commands us to pray.

3. We should pray b/c God delights in us doing it.
It should also encourage us in prayer to know that God delights in our prayers. In Proverbs 15:8 the Bible says, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight." God does not listen to the prayers of people that are not His children (i.e. born again Christians), b/c we only have access to God through His Son, Jesus. The only prayer that God listens to from the lost is the prayer of repentance from sin and faith in Christ. But for us who are born again Christians, God greatly delights in our constant and continual dependence upon Him. It thrills His heart His heart when His children constantly seek His face for His guidance, protection, and provision.

4. We should pray b/c prayer is powerful and effective for bringing about the will of God on earth.
James 5:16 states, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James believed in prayer. In fact, tradition tells us that he spent so much time in prayer that his knees became hard and calloused, earned the nick name "camel knees." I can't really explain how or even why, but in His sovereignty and grace, God has chosen to work through the prayers of His people... and works He does, with great effect. The only conditions concerning this would be that our prayers must come from a clean, dedicated heart, and we need to try our best to pray according to His will. The Bible says in 1 John 5:14, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

So, prayer is not an option for the born again believer in Christ... God expects it, commands it, delights in it, and greatly blesses it with the fruit of results. So, what are you waiting for? Make an appointment to meet with God daily to pray! Pray for yourself, your church, your family, all your friends, and everyone working to build the Kingdom of God around the world! Not only will you be doing awesome ministry, but you'll be growing closer to Christ everyday!!