17 Mar Why is Prayer Important?
As I look back to the times I have felt the closest to God, the most in-tune to His will, or the most at peace in His presence, they have all been preceded by one thing: prayer. It has helped guide many of the major decisions in my life and has guided and comforted me through some of the toughest situations. Let’s look at why prayer is so important for our lives and our relationship with God.
Why Is Prayer Important?
If you remember the hit game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? from a few years ago, you’ll recall each contestant having a handful of lifelines to call on when they get stumped by a question. Prayer is our lifeline to God, but it obviously goes much deeper than just calling out when we need help on a game show. Starting with Jesus, the Bible explains how prayer can be so much more important than that.
Jesus lays a foundation for prayer that teaches us to acknowledge God’s glory and holiness, to pray for His will to be done on earth, and to pray for the provision of our daily needs. Most importantly, he teaches us to pray for repentance and the forgiveness of sins and for a continued pursuit of holiness. In the final days before His death, we see both his humanity and humility as He prays for strength and that He would be used to accomplish God’s will on the cross.
Moving back into the Old Testament, David provides a multitude of beautiful, honest examples of prayer and worship such as Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (for times of comfort and peace) and Psalm 118, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (for rejoicing in the works of the Lord). David even prays when he is distressed and worried. Not surprisingly, much of our past and current worship language, the way we express worship to God through song, is borrowed directly from the Psalms. Daniel even continues to connect to God in prayer in a time when praying to someone other than the king could cost him his life.
Before the use of SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), equipment divers would rely on a hose to supply them with precious, life-sustaining oxygen; they could not last very long without it (understatement). This is how intently we should seek and stay connected to the lifeline of prayer like the examples of Jesus, David, and Daniel. We should be so connected to God in prayer – drawing strength, courage, and direction from Him – that we would desperately miss going without it.
Where to Start
If you are ready to make prayer a bigger part of your walk with God, here are some suggestions:
- Bible Reading: Pray over what you have read and ask God for understanding and help in applying the passage to your life. Some places to start studying prayer specifically include Matthew 6:9-13; Psalm 23 & 118; Daniel 6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
- Sunday Worship: We can view our Sunday morning worship time as prayers to God. Take some time one morning to sing the lyrics of our worship songs as prayers to Him.
- Good Friday Prayer Walk: This annual event at Legacy uses Scripture to guide you through the final days of Jesus’ life. It is a self-guided, intimate, and focused time to reflect on Jesus and prepare your heart for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Nick Sauceman is the Worship Minister at the Lee’s Summit Campus. He lives with his wife Nikky and two dogs in the Lee’s Summit area. Sources tell us that his favorite band is Creed.