Prayer fuels the engine of our heart and mind. It’s not coffee, or Chipotle, or social media buzz; it’s prayer. We need God in and through prayer more than we need anything else. We will not do anything of any real and lasting value without God, which means we will not do anything of any real and lasting value without prayer.
We often skip prayer because it makes us uncomfortable and because we don’t necessarily see immediate results. But the Bible is clear: prayer is not a side dish for followers of Jesus. It’s the oven. God meant for every other part of our lives to be prepared and refined through prayer.
How do we see and understand more of God and his will for us? “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). Spiritual wisdom and understanding— greater insight into God and his plan for us— are found on the far side of prayer.
- How do we remind ourselves that God is our greatest treasure, the only one who will ever truly make us happy?
We pray, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:25–26).
- Where do we find hope and strength to carry out the mission Jesus has given us in the world? “Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ” (Col. 4:3). We may do the speaking, but God does the real work, running out ahead of us to open doors for the gospel.
- How do we guard ourselves against all the distractions around us? We keep ourselves spiritually awake through prayer. “[Pray] at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).
- How do we persevere through our deepest pains and disappointments?
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (James 5:13).
- And how do we live together in community as believers?
Those in the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).
- How do we keep ourselves from checking out of our faith and mission when we clock in at work? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). Not just at mealtimes, but before our next meeting. Not just during our morning devotions, but during our next
shift. Not just in worship on Sunday, but while we wash clothes on Tuesday. Before we go to work, while we work, and after we work, we take anything and everything to God in prayer.
- What hope do we have for overcoming our sin and experiencing real change and growth? “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11). We bring the desire, the resolve, and the faith, but God brings the power.
We invite him to keep working on us, with all of his infinite power, love, and creativity, through prayer.
Source: The Not-Yet-Married Life (Book)