If our prayer life is neglected, non-existent, or merely a means of providing a shopping list to God for our latest wants and wishes we are not exercising dependence upon God. We are actually making a statement that we do not need the grace that God extends through this means and that we can handle our life on our own.
What is prayer all about? Prayer is our response…
• …to the character of God
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and His greatness is unsearchable.”
(Psalms 145:3, ESV)
When we pray we not only are able to give great praise to our God but we are able to learn more of His marvelous character and attributes. He is a great God with a marvelously multi-faceted nature. Much of our prayer should be focusing on giving the worth and adoration due to God in relationship to His attributes.
• …to the call of God
o God calls us to fellowship with Him – Psalms 27: 4, 8
o God calls us to rest in Him – I Peter 5:7
o God calls us to Himself for strength and wisdom – Isaiah 40:29
o God calls us to Himself for protection and help – Psalm 40:1-2
Prayer of course is so much more than simply a response to the character and the call of God. Prayer is the means by which we are able to consciously grow in our dependence upon God for our strength, energy, and grace to live the life that He has called us to live. The only way to live each and every day in an awareness of growing reliance and dependence upon God rather than in the lifeless energy of our human strength is by prayer.
I encourage you to examine your prayer life. I don’t need to ask you to examine your spiritual strength, your mechanical disciplines, or your means and methods of getting by. I know that they will all be meager and weak if the examination of your prayer life reveals that it is inconsistent or non-existent.
Allow me to share seven truths about prayer:
1. As you pray, let prayer be your first choice and not your last choice
2. As you pray, let your gaze be on God and your glance on your requests.
3. As you pray, pray from conviction and not from crisis
4. As you pray, pray seeking the help and aid of the Holy Spirit
5. As you pray, fill your prayers with praise for God and for all that He is
6. As you pray, make your focus on spiritual principles for growth, rather than stuff. God is not a heavenly vending machine in the sky or a genie to take out and rub.
7. As you pray, always remember God is worthy of our time, effort, and energy, so pray without ceasing.