© Benjamin Haas – Fotolia.com
Prayer is an essential element to the Christian life. The priority of prayer is clearly seen in the life of our Lord. We learn that He often withdrew from the crowds and privately prayed in a secluded place (Luke 5:16). Before appointing the twelve disciples He continued all night in prayer to the Father (Luke 6:12). Prayer was a priority in His ministry. This priority of prayer was also displayed in the early church. In Acts chapter 1 when the disciples had just returned from the Mt. of Olives, they went into an upper room and “all these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14).
As Christians, such devotion to prayer reveals our dependence upon God. Christians should pray because we need God’s help. A Christian who does not pray is living a prideful life. Because if we are not coming before the Lord and seeking His enablement in all that we do, clearly we think that we don’t need Him. Neglect of prayer is prideful and detrimental to our spiritual walk. Paul is an excellent example of a praying Christian. His prayers contained in selected epistles are filled with great care and concern, and they reveal his heart towards other believers. In Ephesians 1:16 he said, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (cf. Colossians 1:9). Such a statement shows great insight into his prayer life. In his letter to the Thessalonian church he implored them to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) and later in Colossians he calls for them to devote themselves to prayer (4:2). Such regular and committed acts of prayer were present in his life. He was regular in his prayer. In addition to being regular in his prayer, he was deliberate. He wouldn’t pray with general Christian clichés, but would make specific requests that had spiritual maturity in view. There is much for us to learn regarding the priority of prayer!