Prayer is indispensable to a believer’s life. We must all take time everyday to speak with God. We often hear of its importance. We hear our church friends talk of its value to their life. For generations people spoke great things about it and its outcome. They speak of the ways they have prayed and the effect it had on them. They talk of all they achieved because of it. While some around us give a superficial talk because of how they want to appear many others truly know the effect of a prayerful life. The Bible is full of examples of prayerful lives. The more we read the more we understand and the more excited we can be. Our understanding gives enthusiasm to prosper in all manners in life. Our excitement is from how we can be equipped, filled and guarded.
Prayer changes our environment. It enhances our joy. It allows us to revel in harsh conditions. It gives us confidence through sustaining a calm soul. And all of this is possible, since it provides an intimate relationship with God. The basic fruit of prayer is companionship with our Lord; to be with Him and of one mind with Him. Prayerful people are victorious people regardless of the situations they are in. It is because they are filled with expectations and joy for that which will be revealed. They have been given the assurance that even in dire circumstances they will not wallow up. They know God is in control of everything that happens in their life. Prayer gives something that no other act a man does on earth gives. “Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house” (2 Chron. 7:1).
Now before we speak of the outcome of prayer it is necessary to understand the nature of the one who prays. Taking Solomon himself as an example we can understand that he is cut from the same cloth, David. One has to have a heart acceptable to God; a heart that puts Him first no matter how he or she feels; a heart that continuously seeks Him, though sometimes the flesh is unsupportive. At times our transgressions keep us from subjecting ourselves to God and all that He wants. Yet, even in those times we must persevere in seeking Him knowing He provides a way out or makes amends. God desires a penitent and honest heart from us while praying. He quickly attaches Himself to such heart, which is more than many burnt offerings and sacrifices. He consumes all the goodness in it. We can feel it because of the Holy Spirit in us. Then, He shall fill us with His zeal and by the Spirit He granted us fills us with His glory. Zeal will give us the mind to continue with Him in any condition and His glory assures victory. When His glory fills us, we know we have obtained the imperishable peace and stability that overcomes any situation. This results in the joy that allows us to expect God to work for us.
Every time we pray the Lord’s glory fills us and it becomes a platform to understand everything we asked Him. For the Lord God prophesied saying, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this” (Isa. 9:7). As His authority and peace keeps increasing in us, we continue to understand everything we asked Him. We will have a good idea of what the He is wishing for us. We can bet on it, since He upholds all that He reveals to us with justice and righteousness. He reveals, speaks or signifies to us because He knows Himself. We no longer have to give preference to our power and ability neither do we have to fear our weakness for His wish toward us to be fulfilled; for He has already spent His zeal toward us.
On the contrary, if we do not pray to Him, we lose everything that has been said. We further lose wisdom and common sense to distinguish between the good and bad, the right and the wrong. Much worse, our mind does not allow us to choose the right when we know the right. Transgression and fear reigning in us weakens us and stalls our victories. Then we go on to make amends accordingly; we seek the things that can never free or rescue us. Yet, we persevere in them. We profane that which belongs to God. The time we are devoid of His glory everything that is not pleasing to Him covers us. “Furthermore, they have even sent for men who come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and lo, they came– for whom you bathed, painted your eyes and decorated yourselves with ornaments;” (Ezek. 23:40). There may not be an end to the undesirable things we do. Then that which has been said of gentiles or the unbelieving will come true of us. “…their justice and authority originate with themselves” (Hab. 1:7).
What is the outcome? We must be brought back again. The Lord has to strive once more to secure us, for He has given us in Christ the imperishable life. We allowed the Enemy to break into us. No one knows when the Enemy strikes and for this reason we ought to be holders of God’s glory. Because see the following, “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into” (Luke 12:39). The only way to prepare ourselves to keep from anything that completely separates our devotion to God is by possessing His glory and zeal. It is not as burdensome as our mind says. As much as we strive according to all our strength, the Lord adds His strength so that it actually happens. He sees the intent of our heart not our ability that is by works. By our spotless intent He then gives strength for works.
Prayer keeps us from or helps us overturn two dangerous attitudes and does a world of good to us.
- Complacency. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Prayer does not keep us complacent. It keeps us humble and on our toes. It avoids spiritual carelessness. It does not allow us to assume, but depend, commit to and follow the Lord’s guidance. To not pray is complacent. It even seeps into all areas of our life in so much as victories become rare to none.
- Indiscipline. The Spirit in Paul said, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). We ought not to miss or lose them. God has prepared a special path to each one of us. Our mistakes and transgressions will hinder us, but persevering in prayer will alone help us complete all that God has prepared for us even before we knew Him. As long as we pray we are strengthened to walk in God’s good works and indiscipline does not strike us.