One of the greatest blessings a child of God has is prayer, the right to communicate with God. Anyone who is striving to do the will of the Lord will have an active prayer life.
In several New Testament passages the Christian is urged to give time, to prayer. In Luke 18, Jesus taught a parable to demonstrate that people "always ought to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1). The apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:8, encouraged men in every place to pray. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Christians are commanded to "Pray without ceasing."
To "pray without ceasing" is not to have some incessant babbling on your lips but to have the attitude of mind to regularly and frequently pray. It means to have a willingness to talk to God -- to share burdens, to confess sins and to pray for strength and courage.
Even though many commands and encouragements to pray are contained in Scripture, sometimes children of God neglect this glorious privilege. It is only at worship assemblies or in times of trouble, sickness or need that some who claim to be Christians even give thought to prayer. Why the neglect?
Many reasons could be given which are too lengthy and varied to explore in this short article, so instead we will just consider one. Neglect of prayer usually indicates neglect in other phases of one's life as a child of God. The mind of such a person is often on worldly things. Prayer, which can so easily be put off, is postponed then forgotten.
A hymn often sung asks, "Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?" Did you? Or were other things on your mind? If you did not think to pray, you let a great opportunity escape which can never be recovered. You should have at least thanked God for the new day and the breath of life that is in your body that enables you to experience and enjoy it.
Some may be hesitant to pray as often as they should because they do not know the things for which they should pray. If they were to properly study the Bible, they would know those things for which they should pray because it reveals them.
According to Scripture, included in those things for which the Christian should pray are:
Why emphasize prayer? James 5:16 gives the answer: "…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." It works! 1 Peter 3:11-12 states that "the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers." He hears and answers in accordance with His will if the Christian prays in faith (James 1:6).
Make your life a life of prayer. If you are going to be truly like Jesus, it will be. Jesus was a man of prayer. He recognized its vital role. Often in His life on earth, He prayed. John 17 contains His prayer for His disciples. Matthew 26 has His prayer in the garden prior to His capture. He also spent time teaching His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:5-15). Be a faithful Christian. Be Christ-like. Be a prayerful person.