Thursday, January 4

Why Pray?

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. --Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

I used to think of prayer as something that was merely recited before a meal or spoken in unison during a church service. Although those are times when prayers are offered, those aren't the only occasions when prayer should take place. Although I am still learning a lot about what prayer is, I have a good understanding of what prayer is not.

Prayer is not a memorized paragraph to be recited thoughtlessly. It is not something to be mumbled hastily over a meal. It is not a childhood bedtime ritual or a way of presenting God with a lengthy discourse about what we think we need from him.

I think of prayer as a conversation between myself and God. Sometimes I pray audibly, other times I do not. When I pray, my main goal is to gain a deeper understanding of how God wants me to proceed in life and a clearer picture of his nature. Over the years as I have learned to pray more earnestly, I have come to regard prayer as one of the most important parts of my relationship with God.

Prayer is a time to lay our hearts bare before God, allowing him to see our vulnerabilities, failures, and all the emotions that make us human. In order for me to be devoted to prayer, I must pray diligently in any and all circumstances. This not only brings me to a point of deeper level of intimacy in my relationship with God, but it also serves as an excellent weapon in the face of spiritual battle. When I am devoted to prayer, the Holy Spirit strengthens me and equips me to fight well in times of spiritual combat or conflict.

Prayer is of vital importance in my life--it keeps me connected to God in a way that I can't even fully comprehend.

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