By Allen Teal, Chaplain
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16, NIV).
Whether you consider yourself good at praying or not, you probably find times when praying seems needed. Some people pray stately prayers that sound Biblical. Others pray conversationally as if they are having a chat with God. Tears and strong emotions may accompany praying. At times, list-like prayers seem like the best approach. Regardless of how one prays, the necessity of practicing prayer remains high. Most find at least three powerful reasons to pray.
Pray for strength.
Everyone faces problems that appear too great to overcome. No way of getting through the difficulty seems apparent. Help must come from more than human effort. The power of Christ came from his times of private prayer.
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which sees in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6, KJV).
Pray for health.
Human bodies break down. Young and old experience physical sickness. While medical science makes steady progress against human diseases, praying also makes a difference in our health. God’s word speaks of the importance of prayer when we are sick.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” (James 5:14-15a, NIV).
Pray for others.
Being unselfish in our prayers is important. In James 5:16, the Bible clearly states, “Pray one for another.” When it comes to praying, we need each other. Human beings tend to have more faith when praying for someone else than when praying for themselves. We need to pray for others and be willing to have others pray for us. Linking our prayers to the prayers of other people gives them greater strength.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on Earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19, NIV).