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  • Ashish Roy

Prayer

“Prayer” sounds so normal but when put into action, then it is such a powerful thing one can do. In Christian life, we have heard that we need to pray more and all that stuff. We know how important it is for us to pray. But is it a reality in our lives?




In the Gospels, there are many instances mentioned where Jesus had shown praying. He would often slip away to be alone and pray. It was a priority or the utmost task in the life of Jesus. He prayed for a whole night when He had to choose His apostles. Jesus was a man of prayer. As He is fully God and fully Man, He knew how important it is for us humans to be in prayer.


After he had sent the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray; and when it was evening, he was there alone. (Matthew 14:23)


In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. (Mark 1:35)


Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go there and pray.” (Matthew 26:36)

But Jesus himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. (Luke 5:16)


If our savior prayed that much, don’t you think we also need to pray constantly? Prayer should be our vocation.


We are so busy in our lives that we don’t have time to be alone with the Lord. I love what Paul Washer says, “Measure your screen time with your praying time.” If we measure that time, we’ll find so much time for prayer. Jesus was much busier than us but He used to get up early in the morning and slip away from the crowd to pray.


I believe there can only be two things when we do not pray. Either we don’t believe that prayer works and has any power to change anything or we are so prideful that even Jesus prayed and we think that we don’t need it, we can do everything on our own. Prayer shows our dependence not on ourselves but on God alone. It makes us humble.


“Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us.” R.C. Sproul

We are Christians, we are justified by faith alone, and immediately after our justification comes our sanctification. In the process of sanctification, we become more and more like Jesus. And if our goal in life is to be like Jesus, then we cannot neglect prayer. We have seen that prayer was a vital part of Jesus’ life. So, it should be ours too. A man who prays is useful to God and one who doesn’t, well, the opposite of that, which is worthless.


“Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God.” ~Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Bible reading and praying go hand in hand. You cannot embrace the one and neglect the other. As Spurgeon once said, “The best praying man is the man who is most believingly familiar with the promises of God. After all, prayer is nothing but taking God’s promises to him, and saying to him, “Do as thou hast said.”” God is not a man that He would lie to or don’t fulfill the promises He had made. But how will you remind God of His promises if you do not know what He had promised? That is why Bible reading and praying are both equally important.


I was reading a book recently by Leonard Ravenhill, named, “Revival Praying.” In that, he mentioned a story about his father. His father for some thirty years spent every Sunday afternoon visiting sick. So the story goes like this,


“One day in the course of his hospital visitation, a sick man listened to my father’s testimony, then jabbed back at him feelingly with, “I have prayed to God and He did not hear me. Why?’ Dad answered the man this way, “Suppose the king of our country came into this room right now, and I asked him for five pounds, would the king give it to me? After all, I am a loyal subject of the crown.” The man thought for a moment and then replied, “I don’t suppose that he would give it.”


“Well then,” Father said, “suppose that after I had asked the king and had been refused, the Prince of Wales had come into the room. Would he get the money he asked for?”


“Oh yes,” answered the man, “but then, he’s the king’s son.”


“Exactly right!” father said. “Relationship makes all the difference.”” (An excerpt from the book, Revival Praying)


God is not a Santa Claus to whom you go to with a wishing list only. Knowing God is about praying according to His will. (This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14)


“This is the heart of prayer— not getting things from God, but getting God.” David Mathis

It’s a privilege in itself to be heard by God. In Psalm 6, the psalmist says, "the Lord has heard my cry for mercy, the Lord accepts my prayer.” Notice it is not anything about fulfilling of prayer because that is a completely different thing. And how selfish and arrogant we have to be, just to assume that if God heard me, He was supposed to answer my prayer. The hearing part in itself is a privilege for us. If we just knew how sinful we are. He doesn’t owe us anything but when He hears us, it shows His love and mercy towards sinful men.


It is not like He is cruel when He doesn’t give us what we ask for but He is a good Father who knows what’s best for us. It may be a flower or sometimes it may be a thorn. Whatever He gives us is for our best and we are to trust Him wholeheartedly.


This reminds me of a beautiful poem by Martha Nicholson.





Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. (James 5:13)
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)



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