– F.B. Meyer
The Command to Pray
The Bible is clear that God desires “then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (1 Tim. 2:8). Jesus, in speaking to the disciples, “told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). It is the will of God that we pray and “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Praying in the Spirit
We must be praying consistently but also praying in the Spirit of God, which means to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18). Praying is not easy. It is hard work for many, and we need help, but “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).
God cannot answer a prayer that’s never been uttered anymore than someone can answer a question that’s never been asked. The greatest tragedy is not unanswered prayer but the prayer that’s never been prayed. Paul admonishes us to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).
Praying was a custom of the early church and perhaps was the reason that the church grew so rapidly in the first century (Acts 1:14), so “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2) because the greatest tragedy of life isn’t really unanswered prayer–it is unoffered prayer.