– Oswald Chambers
Praying Is Commanded
Sometimes, at least for me, praying is one of the most difficult things to do. Perhaps it’s the spiritual warfare of the mind that I go through. I have many prayer requests, and sometimes it’s difficult to get through all of them, but then I realize that we are all commanded to pray. It’s not an option. Jesus tells us to pray to the Lord of the harvest for more laborers (Matt. 9:38); to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44); to ask, seek, and knock in prayer (Matt. 7:7); and to pray in faith (Matt. 21:22; James 5:15). Paul says we must pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17), meaning we should pray every chance we get. I think you see the point. We are to pray as much as we can (Luke 18:1) and as often as we can. Really, it’s for our own good, and its God’s will (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
Praying to Confess Sin
We must keep short accounts with God, so when, not if, we sin, we should confess it as soon as we possibly can because we know that God is faithful and just to forgive us and then cleanse us (1 John 1:9). Jesus taught the disciples how to pray by praying to the Father to forgive us of our sins, just as we should forgive others who have sinned against us (Luke 11:4). If you offended someone or clearly sinned against someone, wouldn’t you want to make it right? I would think so. Just as we would ask someone through communication in words to forgive us, so must we also ask God to forgive us of our sins.
Praying for Blessings
God wants to bless His children, but how often do we ask Him to do it? We should pray for God to bless our families (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and to help keep us from temptation and protect us from the Evil One (Matt. 6:13; 26:41). We should pray for our daily provisions (Matt. 6:11), for healing (James 5:17), for wisdom and strength (Psalm 109:3-4), and for our food to be blessed (1 Tim. 4:5). God wants to bless us, so the only real question is if we will ask. We sometimes don’t have because we are simply not asking (James 4:2), but we must ask with the right motives (James 4:3).
Praying for Protection
We should pray for God’s protection for our families (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and against spiritual attacks from the Devil (Matt. 6:13b; 17:21) and to find the safest place we can be, and that is in God’s will (Col. 4:12). Prayer should give us boldness (Acts 4:31). Even if we end up in the shadows of death, we need not fear any evil because God is there with us in the shadows (Psalm 23:4), so there is no reason at all to be shaken with any uncertainty (Psalm 16:8).
I know a man who says he tries to pray every moment he is not talking to someone, and even then, he is praying for that person. He gets it. He shows that he cannot do anything without prayer, and God has answered him many times. I need to model that because I can’t do anything of significance without Christ (John 15:5).