“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Prayer is simply put our conversations with God. This is something that a lot of Christians miss on (including those who have been a Christian and even those who are in ministry). Prayer is designed for us to keep in touch with our Heavenly Father and something that is essential to the life of a Christian for their spiritual wellbeing.
Let me describe it like this…many of us have email, cell phones, maybe even a networking page such as myspace or facebook…but do we use the same things that go into our keeping up with those to keep in touch with God? There are a lot of us who couldn’t get through our everyday life without the email or cell phone, but we try to get through the day without calling Home. By Home I don’t mean calling your parents or calling your family…what I mean is praying.
One thing that comes to mind is this…how many times have we forgotten our cell phone at home? On most occasions when this happens we turn around and go back to get the phone because we can’t bear to go 10 minutes without being able to call someone or text someone. But on the same note, how many times have we turned around to get our Bibles, or because we forgot to read that morning, or even because we forgot to pray? I would venture to say that that number is significantly lower for the Bible than the cell phone. We have become so wrapped up in the instant connection that we have to the world around us that we can’t see ourselves ever getting by without these modern technologies. We do this, but if we would apply those same principles to our lives when it comes to keeping in touch with our creator we would find that our lives can and will be much easier because we’ll have a feeling for what God is doing in our lives. We have this desire to stay in touch with the world, but we have lost our desire to stay in touch with the Creator of the world…this is something that we as Christians have to right!
As Christians we are called to a personal, intimate relationship with God. This relationship is one that should mimic the life of Christ Himself. By looking at the life that Christ lived, we see that prayer was a major part of His life, no matter where He was or what He was doing. He would take 2-3 extra days at times when traveling to get away from it all and spend time with His Father. When faced with the biggest decision of His life, prayer was the first thing He looked to, not the last. In the garden, Jesus got away, left the disciples, and spent time with God…not to change God’s mind, but to ensure His father that His will would be accomplished. If prayer and scripture were not important in our lives, then why was it so important to Jesus? If it weren’t so important in our lives, why would Paul tell us to “Pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17)?
Could you develop a relationship with a family member or a significant other without communication? NO…and you can’t develop a relationship with God without it either! So what we need to do as Christians is focus on prayer, devote ourselves to the reading of Scripture, and base our lives on pleasing the one who gave life to us. Prayer is the first step to a lasting relationship with God.