Are You too Busy to Pray?

By your requests he understands what is on your mind. He knows whether you really desire what you ask or merely reciting a prayer.

Are You too Busy to Pray?
“Pray incessantly.”-1 Thessalonians 5:17

The bridge of understanding between men is speech. Without it there is no communication. So also is prayer. It is the medium of communication between man and God—the process that facilitates communion with our Heavenly Father. According to Richard G. Scott, “Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul.” Prayer is a special privilege that is often neglected; most times, it is the last option people resort to when in trouble.

No matter who we are, there is a loving father in heaven who has made himself available to us if we turn to him in prayer. Do you feel short of words when you decide to pray? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by circumstances so that you overlook the need to pray? We live in an ungrateful world and there is a constant danger of forgetting God, thinking that you have no need of him. Your prayers mirror your dependence on God. By your requests he understands what is on your mind. He knows whether you really desire what you ask or merely reciting a prayer.

Why You Should Keep Praying
Prayer helps you stop and think when making decisions. Jesus spent a whole night in prayer prior to choosing his apostles (Luke 6; 12, 13). We are faced daily with decisions that have significant impact on our lives. It is appropriate to ask for direction to do God’s will and make the right decisions. We need the help of the All-knowing God to overcome the hurdles we face in our daily lives.

Included in the Model Prayer is the request to be delivered from the wicked one (Matthew 6:13). To face the ancient enemy, Satan, alone is an uphill task that is not achievable without the help of God. We need to keep asking for God’s help to overcome or endure any form of temptation that comes our way. Incessant prayer will give us the courage to say NO to deceptive desires and snares of the worldly ways.

Christians have one common enemy-Satan-who is ready to do anything to bring God’s people down to defeat (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11). We have to pray for one another to guard against him. Our spirituality must be guarded at all times. To keep ourselves spiritually alive, we have to constantly express ourselves through prayer. In an age of growing self-indulgence, fallen moral standards, a materialistic generation, Christians need continual guidance for protection (Jeremiah 10:23). Asking God for wisdom to cope with our problems is a wise thing to do.

In order to be alert to the privileges of serving God, it is crucial to have his holy spirit. Christ Jesus recommended doing just that: “How much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!” (Luke 11:13). Just think of what could be accomplished by a free flow of the holy spirit in one’s life, helping one grow in love, goodness and righteousness, and preventing one from being infected with the spirit of the world-1 Corinthians 2:12.

We also need to pray for understanding and wisdom. As our bodies take in food, water and air to function, so should the mind be supplied with spiritual food that can only be found in divine knowledge and instruction. Without a mind that is sound spiritually, we cannot cope with life’s problems and accomplish God’s will in our life (Philippians 1:9). We are encouraged by James: “If anyone of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all.”-James 1:5.

One should not hesitate to mention the healing power of God, which can be harnessed through prayer. There are healing powers in prayer-in terms of physical needs and healing of the spirit.
Our sincerity to prayer is shown by the effort made to learn what God says to us. By regularly studying His Word we are listening to God’s counsel as the Israelites were encouraged to do (Deuteronomy 28:15). It is reasonable that if we want God to listen to our prayers, we must pay attention to how we listen to him-Proverbs 28:9.

Express Appreciation   
Our prayers should include expressions of praise and thanksgiving. Life is so valuable that no one can set a price on it. Prayer is the yardstick of our gratefulness for life. Giving thanks to the giver of Life helps us to count our blessings. The grateful heart appreciates the small things as well as the big ones. Always recognize the source of all goodness, as the psalmist David did: “You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16). Follow the advice in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18 “Pray incessantly. In connection with everything give thanks.” Living in a selfish world where people think there is more happiness in getting, we need to copy our great giver and keep in mind the word of our Lord Jesus: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35)

How Can I Pray?
All prayers must come from deep inside our minds and hearts. It is offensive to the Most High, who is always ready to give every blessing to us for our good, if we rush through our prayers. Most times we offer a quick morning prayer, and race to the door, eager to start our day. When we consider to whom we are praying, how much he has done for us, and how dependent we are upon him, it makes us to stop and think, taking our time to appreciate his works as he deserves.

An individual offering prayer to God must have strong faith in him. The principal requirement, faith, is not just sincerity of belief that God exists and can hear prayers (Hebrews 11:6). Such faith is demonstrated in striving to live in harmony with God’s righteous principles set out in the Bible. A true believer will need to take God into account daily.

Prayer should not be a mere ritual neither should prayer contain repetitive phrases as though repetition makes it more effective. It should not be performed for show or to impress others (Matthew 6:5-7). Ask God for anything with an open mind and faith. This incredible guarantee recorded in 1John 5:14 says, “No matter what it is we ask according to his will, he [God] hears us.” A foremost reason why many prayers are not answered is that the one praying has not first tried to find out what God’s will is-Proverbs 3:5-7. Whatever you ask, ask according to Gods will and your prayers will be answered.

The Bible is full of accounts of prayers that were answered by God. An outstanding one is the “prayer test” in the days of Elijah the prophet (read 1Kings Chapter 18).

In a world of increasing scepticism and doubt, lovers of God and truth can take heart from the positive assurance that prayers offered to God through the right channel, in the right manner, and with the right attitude of mind and heart are heard. Not only will God hear such prayers, he will also answer them without fail, according to his will and in his chosen time.             

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Arinola O. Yinka

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