Posted on August 18, 2011


“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16, NLT)

“Work as if you were to live 100 years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow”, Benjamin Franklin penned those mighty words of truth in 1757, but they are still true today.  Have you talked to God today?  Did you thank Him for a new day?  Have you told Him what’s on your heart?  If not, then take a moment to pray now…

Good, now that you have spoken to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, let’s talk about the importance of prayer.

Prayer and the Christian Life

“Pray without ceasing.”  This was the message the Apostle Paul gave to the Church in Thessolanica.  Why?  Because, prayer for a Christian’s spiritual life is as necessary as breathing is to his or her physical life.  Just as the body withers and dies without oxygen, so our spiritual life withers and dies without prayer.  Yet, churches around the world are filled with Christians who do not pray as they should.  The result is spiritually weak children of God who are easily tricked and beaten by the Devil.  It has been said that if Satan could write his own beatitude it would read, “Blessed is he who has no time to pray, for he will become an easy prey.”

J. Gordon Henry once said, “It is easier to be a preacher, elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, visitor, youth worker.  Maintaining a daily, consistent prayer life is HARD WORK.  The reason is that Satan does not want us to pray, since the only time that we are a threat to him and his work is when we pray.  Therefore, he puts a high priority on destroying our prayer lives.

“Without a daily quiet time, it is easy for the cutting edge of the spiritual life to grow blunt and dull.  The result is laziness.  A believer should plan an encounter with God every day.  Regular daily contact with our Source of spiritual life, the Lord Jesus Christ, is absolutely necessary.”

Ever since Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation in the Garden of Eden, Satan has known that a believer out of communication with God is easily conquerable.  One of my greatest surprises, when reading the Scriptures was to discover that the Bible is full of conquered people.  For lack of a proper prayer life, Samson fell into the arms of Delilah.  For lack of a prayer life, David killed Uriah.  For lack of a prayer life, Peter rebuked Jesus then denied him three times.  That’s when I realized that without a prayer life, people are powerless.

Is it possible that the lack of a prayer life in our nations public schools have resulted in the rampant increase in violence and immorality?  Is it possible that for the lack of a prayer life in the lives of television viewers, that we now have more occult based TV programs than ever before?  It’s time for the Christians in America to wake up and pray!  3000 years ago, God promised,  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.  Prayer makes all the difference in the world.

Although, the Bible is full of conquered people, it is overflowing with saints who were “more than conquerors” through prayer.  Prayer rescued Daniel from the lion’s den.  Prayer added 15 years to King Hezekiah’s life.  Prayer brought a widows son back to life.  And a prayer by Jesus saved the Apostle Peter from Satan’s well laid path to destruction.  Jesus warned him saying “Simon, Simon, behold!  Satan has desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you Simon, that when you are converted you will strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31)  Did that prayer save Simon Peter from becoming the betrayer instead of Judas Iscariot? Only God knows for sure.


The Spiritual Impact of Prayer

Prayer possesses four very powerful keys for the believer.  First and foremost, prayer is the key to knowing God and His will for your life.  Unfortunately, many people living today have almost no desire to know God intimately.  Many Christians not only cram God into a box that says, “I don’t have time for You outside of church”, but they get so busy focusing on their day to day lives that they barely have time to get to know their own family.  This is why most people who attend church often treat God’s will for their lives like it’s a mystery with no answer.  They go through their lives clueless as to what their true purpose in life is, when all they have to do is get to know God and then ask Him to reveal His will.  Then they would discover that God is extremely interested in having a relationship with them and has a wonderful plan for their lives.

Secondly, prayer is the key to successfully living the Christian life.  The world, our flesh, and the Devil throw us new challenges every day.  The Word of God promises that we can be victorious over these troubles, but that promise is conditioned upon three things.

First, we have to be obedient to God and His Word.

Second, we have to spend time in His Word.  This will feed our spirits and increase our strength.

Finally, we have to keep taking our problems to God in prayer.

Without following these three principles, we will lose every battle that comes our way.

Thirdly, prayer is the key to deliverance in times of trouble and peace of mind during times of fear and depression.  This is one truth that you should never forget!  If you put it into practice, it will not only save you a great deal of stress, but may even save your sanity when you feel like your world is falling apart.

I have discovered that the help I need from God in the midst of my most trying times have always been a prayer away.  Like most people, I occasionally battle with being discouraged and fearing the future, but that’s when the Spirit of God reminds me that I need to pray.  And when I do pray, the depression, fear, and discouragement seem to melt away and all I have left is joy unspeakable.

Last of all, prayer is the key to spreading the gospel.  Let me share with you a few testimonies of some of the greatest examples of revival and evangelism the world has ever seen when God’s people pray.

When legendary preacher James Duncan was asked what was the secret of his powerful preaching, he said the secret was thirteen hours of consecutive prayer.  When Charles Spurgeon was asked the secret of his spiritual power, he said:  “Knee work!  Knee work!”  When D.L. Moody began his preaching and teaching ministry he prayed, “Use me, then, my Savior, for whatever purpose and in whatever way Thou mayest require.  Here is my heart, an empty vessel, fill it with Thy Grace.”

Charles Finney, after spending a day in the woods in prayer and fasting, preached that night to a completely unsaved crowd.  The anointing of God fell so forcefully on the congregation that all but one man, fell prostrate upon the floor, and cried out to receive salvation so loudly that the preacher was forced to stop preaching.

“Uncle” John Vasser was a true prayer warrior.  Commenting on his prayer life, his pastor said of him: “He absolutely prayed day and night- prayed about everything, prayed for almost everything, prayed with almost everybody he met.  He prayed when he went out and when he came in.  He prayed before every religious service, and then prayed all the way through it.  I have occupied the same room with him night after night and rarely went to sleep without hearing him in prayer, or awoke without finding him in prayer.”

Posted in: PRAYER