In our last article, we noted how God communicates with us through His word.  But how do we communicate with Him? Remember, communication is two way, we both speak and listen. God has provided a way for us to communicate with Him also. That way is through the avenue of prayer. In this article we want to note the importance of prayer in the Christianís life.

The scriptures deal regularly with both private and public prayer. Our primary focus here concerns private prayer, that is, prayer offered between you and God alone (Public prayers when assembled together will be dealt with at a later time). Luke 18:1 says, "Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." Describing the behavior of a Christian, Paul said it includes, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer..." (Romans 12:12). A part of the whole armor we are to put on in fighting against Satan is, "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..." (Ephesians 6:18). Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God." Colossians 4:2 says, "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." And 1 Thessalonians. 5:17, "Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;...". Many other passages could be cited to show the importance of prayer in the Christianís daily life.

Prayer is a privilege extended to Christians. It is an avenue extended to those who are searching for and doing His will. James 5:16 says, "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Note that it is the righteous man who God listens to in this situation. 1 John 3:22 tells us, "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing to Him." Note the realization for righteous living. This is contrasted with the one who does not obey Godís will. One who refuses to obey the gospel will not have his prayers heard by God. In John 9:31 we read of a blind man whose sight Jesus had restored. As the blind man reasoned with the self-righteous Pharisees he made this observation, "Now we know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, him He hears...". While we understand that this is a statement of a man, it was an observation that was not disputed concerning the law, even by those to whom he spoke at this time. It is a concept that agrees with all of scripture. Both those concerning the type of prayers God does hear and those He rejects. The Greek wording addresses one who continues to be a sinner. One who refuses to obey the gospel would certainly fit in this category. While we do read of some men such as Cornelius in Acts 10:1-2, who were not yet Christians praying to God and their prayers being heard, the extent of it being heard resulted in God providing an opportunity for them to hear the gospel (Ac. 10:3-16). Thus we can see, prayer is a privilege extended to Christians that we need to take advantage of.





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