As we recognize the National Day of Prayer this week, I’d like to share about the significance of prayer in our lives.  Prayer is one of the essential building blocks of our Christian walk that we must never neglect.  Prayer should hold utmost importance, because it is one of our most effective, powerful weapons.  The Bible declares, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

The word prayer holds many connotations, but in simplest form, it means communication with God.  It may include thanksgiving, praise, worship, or petition, but it always involves speaking from our hearts to the Lord.  Just as any deepening relationship requires open communication, prayer is one way to develop our relationship with the Lord.  Such fellowship is vital in our pursuit to grow in the knowledge of God.

Prayer should not be something we turn to only as a last resort in times of crisis; instead, we should develop a lifestyle of prayer.  The first step to form such a lifestyle is to daily set aside time specifically for prayer.  You may find it helpful to use the same time and place every day.  Find what works best for you and be faithful.  Pray in the good times and the bad, when you feel like it and when you do not.  Consistency is what’s important.  Don’t let prayer get lost in the shuffle of life’s busy-ness; honor God by giving prayer its proper priority.  As Paul exhorted, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).

Fellowship with the Lord provides a needed time of refreshing that helps empower you to be an effective witness.  The Gospels tell how even Jesus went alone to pray.  If Jesus needed prayer, we certainly do as well!  You see, we must realize that trying to tackle life on our own is useless and frustrating.  We need God’s help, and praying is how we ask for and receive that help.  The writer of Hebrews encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16).  Since we never know what needs we will face, we should consistently come to the throne of God to continually receive His mercy and grace.  Then, we will be better prepared to respond to life’s challenges according to the will of the Lord.

I encourage you to find a time today to put everything else aside and spend some moments in prayer.  If this practice is not already a habit for you, make it part of your daily routine.  You will enjoy a closer walk with God and find that your life will not be the same!