The Priority of Prayer
I recently ran across an interesting line about prayer: Prayer is like physical exercise—we need to do it, but most of the time we do not want to do it. How mature are we as a Christian? I believe the one barometer of our spiritual life can be determined by a simple statement—tell me about your prayer life? You show me a Christian who prays regularly, consistently, day-in day-out, whether they feel like it or not, and I’ll show you a mature Christian.
Prayer is not just talking to God, but it is also listening to God. If you call someone on the telephone and you do all the talking and then hang up—that isn’t much of a conversation. On the telephone we spend time talking, and also spend time listening to the other person. Prayer involves these two elements as well. There are talking principles of prayer and also listening principles of prayer.
The Talking Principles of Prayer:
1) Confession – recognizing sin in my life and my need for Him
2) Praise – expressing my love and adoration for who He is
3) Thanksgiving – gratefulness for all the things He has done for us
4) Intercession – praying for others
5) Petition – praying for ourselves
If you have been a Christian for very long, you are very familiar with these five talking principles of prayer. What is seldom talked about is the listening principles of prayer.
The Listening Principles of Prayer:
We need to be still and quiet before God—and allow Him to speak to us. Every day when I pray—I ask these three questions and then get quiet to see what the Lord wants to reveal to me.
1) Lord, is there anything in my life that is not pleasing to You?
2) Lord, is there any person or situation I need to pray for today?
3) Lord, is there anything You want to say to me right now?
Let me challenge you to make prayer more of a priority in your life.