‘Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.’ Mark 1:35 (NIV)
If not for prayer, we would not have any hope at all of intercession from Heaven above, to protect us, and to help us through the difficult times. It is a gift, a blessing, to be able to speak to and hear from the almighty God, our Father.
Jesus teaches us that prayer is the perfect communication between His children and Himself, God, and the Holy Spirit. Now, our prayers may not be perfect, but neither are we. A prayer does not have to be eloquently spoken, or touch every single point about our faith, or even be in words at all. It is already a perfect prayer in God’s eyes if it is sincere, from the heart, and shows the need for Him.
Jesus demonstrated throughout His brief ministry here on earth how important prayer was to Him. He prayed often, and He prayed in the Spirit. When He was tired and worn, He would go off by Himself to pray. And shortly before His arrest, He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, for His Father’s will. Whenever He prayed, He was renewed, refreshed, and made strong. Remember, Jesus was flesh when He came to dwell among us. He was God, but physically He was man. He could become tired and require rest. Prayer brought that very rest to His heart and His mind, and hence His body.
When we pray, we are not only conversing with God, we are also pushing the enemy away. He cannot withstand our prayers. He is not able to fight the mighty power of Jesus. He knows he is losing the war when we spend dedicated time in prayer. This, in and of itself, is a wonderful benefit to spending time with God.
Jesus shows us in Matthew 6:9-10 how to pray. He began with The Lord’s Prayer. It includes all the elements that a prayer should have. It has acknowledgement of God’s greatness, His dominion and power. It has requests, and it has praise and glory. It has thanks. But remember, it is a teaching of Jesus about how to pray. It does not diminish that crying out prayer, when we are afraid. It does not negate the whispering of Jesus’ name in times of trouble. A prayer, any prayer, that is from the heart, is one that will be heard by the holy God. We are blessed to know that our prayers are heard if they are given freely, without restraint, to the One who is Our Hope, when we believe in faith.
‘Let me serve You every day, and feel You near me when I pray…hear my prayer, dear God above, and make me worthy of Your love!’ — Helen Steiner Rice