Sometimes, as preachers when we talk about prayer it seems redundant. Anytime someone says they need something or they’re having trouble our answer is always prayer. To some maybe we sound like broken records, just repeating the same thing over again. However, it truly is the best advice we can give. If you are currently going through something difficult my advice to you is to pray. There are great benefits. Get on your knees and seek God’s face.
Over the years, however, I have noticed something about Jesus’ teaching on prayer. Jesus didn’t often tell us to pray, but He did suggest it. He didn’t say that we must pray or else. He simply stated the benefits. Jesus wants us to know the benefits of prayer. Usually before we enter a club or sign up for something on the internet, we want to know the benefits. We want to know what’s in it for us. Recently, I received an email and the benefits sound great, but I still have a bit of skepticism. It’s the way our mind works. Jesus knew this. So, let’s look at a few examples and teachings that Jesus gave us.
Jesus spoke of the benefits of prayer
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Luke 11:22-24
This is a bold statement of Jesus. He said that, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. He didn’t say some things, he said whatever we ask. That’s anything! Jesus didn’t speak so much about the disciplines of prayer, he spoke of the benefits. I believe He wanted us to understand the benefits. He would tell us that it was beneficial to pray rather than say it was our duty.
Jesus told us of the importance of prayer through the benefits that we would receive. He knew that this would help us. We needed to know the benefits and the results, not the disciplines.
We avoid many pitfalls through prayer
Whenever Jesus was about to make an important decision, he made sure he got on His knees in prayer. Often, He would spend the whole night praying. He dedicated His life to prayer. I think by just seeing the results of His prayer life should motivate us to pray more.
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Luke 6:12-13
Before choosing the twelve disciples who would walk with him for most of His ministry, he spent the night in prayer. He didn’t just decide on the ones most trustworthy. Jesus didn’t just go with his gut feeling. He sought God and choose through His wisdom.
James give us a great key. He tells us to ask for wisdom whenever we need it. Jesus needed wisdom to choose His disciples. We need wisdom in many of the decisions that we need to make. God gave us a way. He says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
That’s it! It’s that easy! When we need wisdom, we simply ask God for it. He helps us in our decision making. You never have to make a wrong decision again. He is there to lead & guide you.
Life is so much better through prayer
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. Luke 12:31-32
God wants to give you everything you need. He says you just need to seek His Kingdom. How do you do that? Through prayer! He will give you everything you need! You see, He’s not pushing us or forcing us to pray. He is simply telling us of the benefits. Do you want everything you need? If you do, then you only need to seek His Kingdom. You can find everything you need there.
I’m convinced that a life of prayer is the best life we can have. Don’t do it just because someone tells you to. Do it because you want the benefits. You want to be in a strong relationship with God. He didn’t put time limits or quantities, He just simply stated how good prayer was to those who practice it.
Seek more of your Heavenly Father’s love today! He longs to be with you!
My last blog speaks of the benefits of worship, to read it, click here.
Author of Trusting God’s Timing