SOME THOUGHTS ON THE NEED FOR PRAYER
By John S Picarello
Praying people are a valuable component to God’s ongoing plan of world redemption. They are also of great benefit to the general health and well-being of society as a whole. Prayerless people on the other hand, are usually a hindrance to both. This is so because of the nature of prayer. Genuine prayer is designed to function as the line of communication between God and people. This is why prayer is the place where God unfolds to His agenda for society, and what roll we are to play in It. Jesus clearly instructed his followers to pray for God’s kingdom to come, and His will to be done on the earth as it is in heaven (See Matthew 6:10).
God’s desire is to redeem people and bring the blessings of heaven to our cities. When cooperating with God in prayer, the Church then becomes the voice of reason and truth in an often confused and wayward society. It is in prayer that we discover our particular calling to use our gifts and talents to serve society, with a high degree of integrity for the welfare of our cities. It is through prayer that we are empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit, how to take our occupations to the next level, demonstrating the benefits of skillfully conducting business with impeccable character, thus being an asset to society. You can understand why prayerless people become such a hindrance to God’s work of redeeming cities.
E.M. Bounds a prolific writer about prayer during the 19th and early 20th century said: “The Holy Spirit never rests upon prayerless people. He never fills them or empowers them. …”There is nothing whatever in common between the Spirit of God and people who do not pray.” I wholeheartedly agree that we must have the Holy Spirit’s influence if we are to believe God, have faith to pray effectively, and do our part in advancing of the Gospel of the Kingdom in our cities.
HAVE FAITH IN GOD: is a simple statement to those of us who are walking with God. It is sometimes a mystery to those who are not intimately acquainted with Him. The word of God is filled with promises that we can use in prayer if we believe them. To have faith that a bible promise will bring the answer we’re seeking in prayer, we must have an active faith in God who makes the promise. We can only have faith in Him to the extent we know Him. This is exactly what Jesus meant in Mark 11:22. When we come to know a person of integrity, we come to trust that person. Trusting the person causes us to believe what they say…this same principle holds true with God.
Learning to hear and follow God’s instructions in prayer requires intimacy. Intimacy with God is personal, and it takes time alone with Him to develop. No one falls in love with a person they are not familiar with, they must take the time get to know them. As we spend much time alone with God our hearts and minds are influenced by His character and great love for us. His love continually draws us and fills us with great desire to spend more time with Him. Whether we’re praying alone or with others, God’s Presence transforms our prayer time into an empowering, vibrant, confidence building experience.
The Transforming Power of Intimacy with God When we know God intimately we simply cannot help loving Him with all our heart…He just has that affect on us. Obeying His word becomes easy to us because it is now something we long to do for the one who has captured our heart (John 14:23-24). As we continue to keep (or walk in) His word, His truth continues to be revealed to us. The liberty that we come to experience from living this lifestyle of prayerful intimacy is sometimes overwhelming.
In this kind of relationship with God a great capacity to believe what He says is formed within us by the Holy Spirit. When reading the word of God our hearts will begin to respond in the affirmative to every promise we see. This is how simple faith in prayer is developed. Continued exposure to intimacy in God’s presence developes a hearing heart within us. It is quite natural to believe we will receive what we ask for from the one who we’ve come to adore.
God can easily trust those who adore Him with great answers to prayer because they would not be asking for things He is not willing to give. This brings us back to the necessity of knowing Him intimately. When we delight ourselves in Him, He places His desires on our heart. When you are really in love with someone you come to share the same desires.
All of this is made possible by the Holy Spirit in the life of those who are drawing nearer to God in prayer. What power and influence the Church would have in society if more believers would learn to live a lifestyle of prayer and cooperation when seeking God. How rapidly the Gospel of Jesus Christ would advance in society setting people free from the corruption of sin that is in the world; if more of us had the faith to Pray without ceasing! – JSP