Christians in these last days have the formidable task to be holy and be obedient to all of God’s commandments in a radically secular and immensely immoral world. Day in and day out, they are constantly bombarded with vulgar messages at sitcoms, lurid advertisements, violence in movies, and sexual promiscuity being glamorized.
Parents often lie awake at night worrying about their children who they know are surrounded by various temptations. They hear and witness the escalation at an alarming rate of violence, criminality, alcohol and drug abuse of today’s youth, hence, they are distressed as they ponder on the diverse challenges as well as the ethical and moral decisions their children have to make.
Young people, too, feel enormous pressures-tugged and torn and various directions as they try to live a righteous live and, at the same time, gain the acceptance of their friends and/ or classmates. They sometimes wonder if their parents have an idea about how hard it is to be a teenager today.
A genuinely Christian mindset is very important in all the above-mentioned circumstances. When God’s people are going through troubling predicament and when it feel like the world is so overwhelming, they need to pray as the Lord Jesus Christ fervently taught, thus: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged” (Luke 18:1, Today’s English Version).
The need for constant prayer was illustrated by the savior Himself when He commanded His disciples to “always pray.” He even emphasized its efficacy and purpose: so as to “never become discouraged” or lose heart in their everyday battle against all wickedness and temptations. Prayer, then, is a deterrent to sin in our lives.
The unremitting prayer taught by Jesus was echoed by Apostle Paul when he taught the Christian in Ephesus these: “Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people” (Eph. 8:18, Ibid.).
True Christians pray to God at all times-on every occasions, in every season-with all manner of prayer and entreaty. God, they strongly believe, answers prayers that are in agreement with His divine will. They adhere to the Savior’s admonition that they must keep awake-cautious and giving strict attention-and pray that they may not be overpowered by temptations. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh or body is weak. (Matt. 26:41, Ibid.).
The constancy of prayer that God’s servant must show was bolstered by King David who proclaimed: “Evening and morning and noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice” (Ps. 55:17, New King James Version).
Morning, noon, and night, King David pleaded aloud with God, and as he testified, he was heard and answered. God delights in the sincere prayer of His servants, for it shows their trust in Him and makes them much closer to Him. Indeed, prayer is essential in the life of true believer.
God’s help through the power of prayer is available for all kinds of request and issues as Apostle Paul assured: “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayer ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. …And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:6, 19, TEV).
So many people in this world are filled with anxiety, and they struggle mightily to cope with so much sufferings, pain, blows of hardship and misfortune. But God’s people are admonished not to even worry about anything; instead, they should pray about everything they need with thanksgiving for “God will supply all (their) needs.”
If only everyone will fully understand how important prayer is, he will surely find the proper motivation to incorporate it into his everyday life more effectively. There are those who willingly open their heart to the Almighty and seek His counsel, for they truly believe that He knows everything and what is best for everyone and is the real source of every good thing. They find comfort and meaning to feel being held in God’s loving embrace for His liberal answer to their prayers.
The power of prayer should never be underestimated, even during time of illness, for it has a significant effect if done according to God’s will, as Apostle James states: “Is there anyone who is sick? He should send for the church elders, who will pray for him and rub olive oil on him in the name of the Lord. This prayer made in faith will heal the sick person; the Lord will restore him to health, and the sins he has committed will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15, Ibid.).
James the apostle passionately articulated the effectiveness of soulful prayer by proclaiming that anyone is sick, he must call for the elders of the church. They should pray over him, anointing with oil in the Lord’s name. That prayer, offered in faith, will heal him; and if his sickness was caused by sin, the Lord will also forgive him.
Even the medical community are piping in that prayer can aid in a sick person’s recovery. They relate that if a person knows that he/she is being prayed for, it can be uplifting and increase his morale, thereby aiding in recovery. Medical studies also suggest that prayer can reduce physical stress and anxiety thus promoting a more positive outlook in life and strengthening the will of the sick to live.
Man’s prayer being answered, it must be noted, is not based on the eloquence of words and phrases used nor in the repetitiveness of one’s supplication. The truth is, the Lord Jesus Christ even rebuked those hypocrites who pretended piety by praying publicly and reciting the same prayer over and over again as the heathens did, thinking that they would be heard for their much speaking (Matt. 6:5-7). The Holy Scriptures specifically caution us not to be rash with our mouth, nor should our heart be hasty to utter a word of prayer before God. Remember, he is in heaven, and we are only here on earth, so “let your words be few” (Eccles. 5:2 NKJV).
To others, plain laziness is a major reason they put off praying-just the thought of taking time out to communicate with God seems like a hassle for them. The irony of it is that they have time to watch hours and hours of television, socialize, surf the Internet, tweet, go out to eat, attend sporting events-but too tired and mentally exhausted to utter prayer to God.
Some people rationalize that they are disappointed and discouraged with praying because they are not being heard. The onus is on man to fully comprehend why he is not being answered. He must come to grip with the biblical reason why God intentionally does not listen to the supplications of many.
First, they pray with wrong purpose and with evil, selfish motives. Their real intention is to spend what they ask for in sensual pleasures (James 4:3). Second, it must be in faith that one ask with no wavering (no hesitation, no doubting). For one who wavers will be as unsettled as the waves of the sea that are driven and tossed by the wind. Such person should not expect, nor even imagine, that he will receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-8).
Third, before one even draws close to God, he must wash his soiled hands clean, do away with his sinful life, purify his heart, and humble himself before the Lord’s presence (James 4:8). Fourth, it must never be forgotten by the supplicants that whatever they ask for from the father, it must be ask in the Lord Jesus Christ name, that God may give it unto them (John 15:16).
Throughout the life of Christ here on earth, He found it important to always pray to God-that should make a very strong impression on everyone! No doubt, persistence in prayer is repeatedly urge in the Bible so that diseases will be healed, strength be imparted, guidance be given, hearts be softened, and needs be met. Not knowing how to pray is not an option nor an excuse, for, the Holy spirit help us with our daily problems and in praying (Rom. 8:26).
Truly, God’s answers are not always yes, but are always in the best interest of His faithful servants. To them, God’s empowering promise is: “When they call tom me, I will answer them, when they are in trouble, I will be with them; I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them” (Ps. 91:15-16, TEV).