Have you ever sat at a red light or restaurant and counted how many people were checking their Facebook, text messages or talking on their phones? People around the world utilize cellphones, Skype, email, and text messages to do their day-to-day business and contact their loved ones.
We have an innate desire to be heard and to connect with each other. Even a newborn baby will begin communicating with those around it. After drawing its first breath the baby lets everyone know just how cold and scary its new environment is. Humans instinctively know that we must connect to one another even before we can talk. But we cannot satisfy our need for connection with iPhones and email.
Humans are created in the Image of God (Genesis 1:26). This does not mean that we look like Him, but that God made a part of us eternal so that we could be with Him. When sin entered the world, the face-to-face relationship that Adam and Eve shared with the Lord was severed. But through Jesus’ sacrifice we have a mediator that bridges the gap between God and men.
We must not underestimate the value of prayer. Prayer is only possible because Jesus died for us and it is our only way to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the fastest and most accessible form of communication we have and when we take advantage of it our lives will change.
The bible is full of men and women of prayer. Hannah prayed fervently for a son (I Samuel 1). Daniel prayed for wisdom, strength, and endurance during the Babylonian captivity (Daniel 9:4-7). David prayed for guidance to rule Israel (Psalm 5). Jesus prayed when he needed strength and relief from the troubles of this world (Matthew 26). Comparing ourselves to these prayer warriors may not be easy. But making prayer a part of your daily focus will get us much closer to their example.
Find time alone
In Mark 1:35, we see Jesus setting aside a special time to be alone in prayer: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” If you begin the morning by talking to your heavenly Father, as Christ did, then it will set the tone for the rest of the day. It is the perfect time to collect your thoughts without the distractions of the day to come and sets your Lord as priority.
Letters to God
Often times we settle into a routine of praying for the same basic things and using the same words until prayer becomes a lifeless ritual. Writing your prayers down breaks up your routine, leads you to learn more about yourself, and gives you written proof of how God works through prayer.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to keep praying when you don’t get the answer you are looking for. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul speaks of a thorn in his flesh that was “ sent by a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” At first glance it would seem that God refused to answer his prayer. But really, God is telling Paul there is something more important than what he was asking for. We need to trust that God knows what is best for His children and keep praying fervently.
We pray to communicate with our Father and draw us closer to Him. At it’s very core, prayer is fellowship with God. It is a wonderful way to “be with God” just like Jesus stayed connected to God during His time on earth. Jesus was separated from His Father, but he stayed close to Him through prayer. Christians have the same potential to spending eternity in the physical presence of God, but through prayer, we also can enjoy His presence as we go about our daily life on earth. Will you take the time to call upon your Lord, today and every day?