Simply and generally defined, prayer is communication with God. Prayer is also a spiritual discipline (hard work! – Col 4:12). And prayer is worship too. Personal prayer time is a period of deep and meaningful spiritual communion with our heavenly Father. In prayer our eternal souls connect, in a very direct and intimate way, with the One who created us in His image (Gen 1:26-27). For these and many other reasons, disciples of Christ should place a high priority on time spent with God in prayer. But do we?
During His earthly ministry, Jesus showed us time and time again the necessity of prayer and the value He placed on personal prayer time with His heavenly Father. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed into a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mk 1:35). “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Lk 5:16). “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Lk 6:12).
If Jesus, who was God in the flesh (Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1-3, 14), found it necessary to set aside regular periods of time to engage in meaningful prayer with His heavenly Father, how much more should we who are mere mortals—weak and frail human beings made of dust? (Gen 2:7; Ps 103:14). The answer is more than obvious.
The Scriptures admonish us to “watch (maintain your spiritual vigilance) and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Mt 26:41), “in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil 4:6), “continue earnestly in prayer” (Col 4:2), and “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). May this be our faithful practice throughout 2017 and beyond! “Trust in Him at all times you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).