We continue this mini series on prayer this morning by looking at the privilege (Ephesians 3:12) and necessity of prayer (James 5:13-16) . Write this on your heart, beloved: prayer is the will of God for each and every saint. Yes, it is God’s will that we pray. Praying is the normal Christian life. It is the lifeline between earth and heaven and the all-necessary means of communion with our Heavenly Father (Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15). I have always found it fascinating that the disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to teach a bible study or how to do miracles. They asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). I see in God’s Word incredible possibilities linked with praying saints (Jeremiah 33:3). I see in God’s Word incredible promises linked with prayer (Ephesians 3:20).
As we explore the subject of prayer, one of the things that we must avoid is the attempt to “intellectualize” prayer or reduce it to some rote formula (Matthew 6:7). Prayer is as necessary for our spiritual health as air is to our physical existence. A “faith” that does not pray will eventually shrivel up and die. Thus, we are taught by Jesus to constantly pray and not faint (Luke 11:5- 13, 18:1-7). Furthermore, praying not only holds the armor of God together, it is also the very basis of all Spirit-filled evangelism (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Peter writes that we are to “watch” unto prayer (1 Peter 4:7), and the word used for “watch” is a military term that is used to describe one who stands on guard. Militant praying! This reminds me of the time when the apostles were sleeping in the Garden when Jesus brought them along to be with Him during that intense time of prayer to His Father. Instead of praying along with Jesus, the disciples fell asleep. Jesus was surprised that they could not stay awake for one hour (Matthew 26:40). I believe that they learned that lesson well (Matthew 26:41); hence Peter’s admonition about prayer. Can we afford to pray any less than Jesus did? I think not.
Failure to pray precedes failure in life. The people that God uses the most are the people who pray (James 5:17,18). Beloved, take the time and make the time to pray. Do not feel guilty taking the phone off the hook to get alone and away with The Lord for a time of prayer. If we wait until everything on our “to do” list is done before we spend time in prayer, we will never pray at all. Make prayer a priority in your life (1 Timothy 2:1). You will never regret spending quality time with God! And here is the real blessing: Prayer not only benefits you, it benefits those for whom you pray as well.