God has been really trying to get my attention recently on how absolutely vital prayer is. Prayer enables us to connect with God (Jeremiah 33:3), gain wisdom (James 1:5), and see circumstances change (Mark 11:24).
I have recently read an excellent book called Dirty Glory by Pete Grieg. It’s about prayer, mission and justice. The book explores how prayer was central to Jesus’s ministry; it meant power, direction and authority. Jesus understood that he needed to be in constant communication with God the Father. Grieg explores in the book how every great move of God is preceded by a great move of prayer. That means that even if for health reasons we are not able to help with practical evangelism events we can all be prayer warriors seeking God for revival.
What a privilege that we can all pray and speak directly to God; the Israelites couldn’t only a select few such as Moses could. More than that we can each hear God speak to us. I am struck in the Book of Numbers by the frequency of phases such as: ‘The Lord said to Moses, say to the Israelites…’ (e.g., Numbers 5:5-6 and 5:11-12). This makes me very thankful to Jesus; because he bore my sin I can ALL approach God’s throne of grace with boldness and confidence at any time (Hebrews 4:16). Hallelujah!
Even though we can come to God at any time we do sometimes need to persevere in prayer. Jesus tells his disciples that ‘…they should always pray and never give up.’ (Luke: 18:1) and then illustrates his point through the parable of the persistent widow as told in Luke 18:1-8. Another example is when Paul says in Colossians 1:9 that they had not stopped praying for the church in Colossi.
So in short prayer is powerful, it is something we need to work at and grow in. I don’t know about you but I want to grow closer to the Lord and to do that we need to communicate. As Christians we can all move our prayer life forward, even if our capacity is very low due to illness (more on that here).