You do a search and find hundreds and thousands of books on prayer. Books like these:
How to Pray for Your [husband, wife, children, neighbor, pastor, friend, etc]
Praying God’s Word
Seven Prayers to Change Your Life
Prayer, Does it Make a Difference?
I am not saying anything against these books. I have several prayer help-books myself. I’m doing a Bible study written by Beth Moore called Whispers of Hope: A Seventy-Day Prayer Guide. Prayer is topic that you can read, talk, and write about your entire life and still not exhaust the subject.
Dedicating most days to writing out my prayers and reading devotionals focused on prayer, has changed the way I think about prayer.
Luke 10:38-42 is not necessarily concerned with prayer, but we can apply it here.
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
We won’t fault Martha – we have all been her. Serving is not bad. However, we see that Jesus called Mary’s choice “the good choice.” Mary’s choice was not the better (because service is important), but the good choice. The choice Mary made, to sit at the feet of Jesus, was the choice that lasted for eternity. “And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Prayer is that choice that will last eternity. Most of the time we do not have to chose whether to serve or to pray – we can do both! The type of prayer that I have been committed to these past few weeks have been more than just “God, help _______.” My prayers have taken time and effort on my part. I sit down. I chose not to do something else and I chose to pray. When we choose that type of prayer, we know that we are choosing the better choice.
Prayer strengthens our spiritual life.
Hebrews 5:12-14 says
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
God always teaches us through Scripture. Prayer is a tool that God uses to teach us about Himself and what His will is for our lives. I have grown so much through this dedicated time of prayer. I cannot pin-point all the life lessons I have learned. I cannot name all of the attributes of God that were magnified. I can tell you that I am weaning off the milk (according to Hebrews) and learning to eat more meat.
Prayer is a way to see God working.
God is sovereign. We know that all things are under His control. He will answer prayers as He sees fit. When we are spending time in prayer, we are invited to a front-row seat to see God work. We are able to see God’s glory on display! He will accomplish His will, whether we pray or not. During this study, my husband lost his job. God provided another job. If I had not prayed about it, God still would have provided another job. Because I prayed for it, I was able to see God working throughout the entire process! (see this post)
When we pray, we see God’s glory and provide Him with glory, just as John 14:13 says: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” God takes pleasure and receives glory from answered prayer. So, PRAY!
Also see the post:
Prayer: No More Excuses