We value prayer at THE BRIDGE as a crucial element in the Christian life. Why is prayer so important? Well, think about developing relationships on the human level. If you want to get to know someone, what do you do? You spend time with them and communicate. It works the same way in the spiritual realm. If we want to know God and his will for our lives, we must spend quality time with him. Prayer is one of the primary means for accomplishing this. Too often prayer is thought of as giving God our “laundry list” of things we want, but may not necessarily need. Prayer does not get God to come around to our way of thinking. Rather, if it is truly heart-felt prayer, it gets us to line up with God’s will and purpose. In other words, it’s all about what God wants, not what we want. Scripture talks a lot about prayer and its purpose. John 14:14 says, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (emphasis added). Praying “in Jesus’ name” does not refer to some magic formula added to the end of a prayer. It means to pray in keeping with his character and concerns and, indeed, in union with him.
Often you hear the comment, “I have been praying and praying but God doesn’t answer me.” One reason for this is shown in James 2:3. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” God wants us to live life to the full, but we need to line up with his definition of “full” instead of our own. We need to make the distinction between our “needs” and our “greeds”. You can be sure that God always answers prayer. Sometimes the answer is “yes,” sometimes “no” and sometimes “wait”. There are many examples in the Old Testament of situations where it took many years for God to answer a prayer. Just remember that his timing is perfect, regardless of what we think in our impatience.
Another argument against prayer is, “God already knows what I need, so why should I bother to pray?” Yes, God certainly knows what we need, but he still wants us to ask. Need an example? How about Jesus? Jesus certainly prayed on numerous occasions because that’s what the Father wanted him to do. By being obedient to the Father, Jesus set an example for us to follow.
There are many more aspects to prayer in the life of a Christian. If you have questions, please e-mail our prayer line at firstname.lastname@example.org