When you think of prayer, what do you think of?
I think the true purpose of prayer has gotten lost in today’s society.
I know prayer has been lost on me. I thought I had it all figured out. You have a need, you take it to God. You walk through something hard, you take it to the Lord.
Without realizing it, my prayer life has turned into a way for me to get my needs met, my circumstances changed, my will done.
I want to go back to the basics. I want to move past the prayer meetings and prayer requests, past the genie in a bottle persona, and into a deeper understanding of prayer and why our homes should be a place of prayer.
What is prayer?
Everything that we think or feel about God comes to full expression through the way we communicate and connect with God.
Prayer is our personal connection to God.
Because of Jesus, we have a way to the throne of grace to find help in our time of need, hope in our distress, and a friend for the friendless.
Why should we pray?
As Christians, we are called and commanded to devote ourselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2) and to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Plus, Jesus prayed. He took His needs to the Father. He got His direction from the Father. He gained strength from the Father.
If Jesus prayed, how much more do you think we need to pray?
Prayer is expected of us because we need it.
We need to connect our hearts to the vine. We need to pour out our hearts to the One who cares. We need Jesus.
To abandon prayer is to fight the battle alone in our own sufficiency. Without prayer, we rely on our own strength. We resort to our own resources instead of relying on the Lord.
Relying on ourselves is a dangerous place to be. I don’t know about you, but when I take matters into my own hands, I screw everything up. I get it all wrong.
I am weak. I am not strong. I am not in control. I need a Savior and that Savior is Jesus. My own strength, ideas, and will is completely inadequate. To think I have it all together is to be deceived.
What is the purpose of prayer?
Prayer is meant to connect us to the Father
Too often, we make the purpose of prayer only about our needs. However, God already knows our needs (Matthew 6:8).
The primary purpose of prayer is to increase our faith and trust in God, as well as to express our faith and trust in God. We are to look to the Father as our provider. All of our needs are met in Him.
Prayer increases our fellowship with the Father
Because of what Jesus did on our behalf, we now have access to God the Father. We are not ordinary people. We aren’t visitors in the temple. We certainly aren’t strangers.
Instead, we are priests welcomed into the Holy of holies. We can come into God’s presence and receive mercy and grace. Prayer is an opportunity to enter that holy place and fellowship with our Maker.
Prayer allows us to help in the work of the Kingdom
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. ~2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Prayer allows us to participate in things that matter eternally. When we humble ourselves before the Lord and seek His face in prayer, He will answer!
Do you have a wayward son or daughter? Pray.
Do you have a broken marriage? Pray.
Do you wonder how you will make ends meet? Pray.
Do you wonder how you will make it through another day with your children? Pray.
When we pray the work of the Kingdom is advanced. That is an awesome privilege!
Our commitment to living the Gospel at home means that our home must be a place of prayer.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. ~Acts 2:42
The early church was devoted to praying! Prayer is an integral part of the Christian life.
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. ~Matthew 18:19-20
Jesus promises that He will answer the prayers of those who gather in His name. Your home is a gathering in His name. There is power in both the individual prayers of your family and the collective prayers prayed together.
Our family’s need to come to the Father in prayer together often. Prayer is expected of our families because we need Jesus.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is name, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ~Ephesians 3:14-21
Think about your family’s prayer life. When do you pray together? When do you wish you would pray together? How can you develop an attitude of prayer in your home?
Additional resources I’ve found helpful:
- Spiritual Disciplines by Donald Whitney
- The Art of Prayer by Tim Jones
- Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
This post is part of a 31 day series on living the Gospel at home. See all the posts in this series here.
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