“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let
your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O
Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you
there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”
Forgiveness lies at the very heart of the gospel. Thank God that we
are the forgiven ones but we still need to seek forgiveness from our
Lord regularly in terms of our relationship with him.
Prayer is not a trivial matter. If you do not appreciate its
importance it will leave you open to apathy, indifference and
prayerlessness. We need to be reminded regularly of the importance of
prayer. I gave five reasons to pray last week, here are more reasons why
it is important to pray.
6. The extraordinary promises given to those who pray. In Matthew 7
Jesus uses three different active words to describe prayer: seeking,
knocking, asking. Then he attaches a promise to each one of those
activities of prayer, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall
find, knock and the door shall be opened.” He even says this, “Whatever
you ask in my name I will give you,” that is a big promise.
7. Because of the intimate fellowship and communion with God. How do
you get close to God? By reading your Bible you can hear Him speak to
you, but you have to speak to him. It is a two way dialogue and prayer
is essentially talking to God. The Bible assumes as Christians we have a
depth of fellowship with God. “Our Father which art in heaven.” The
word Father is a word of intimacy. Several times we are told to draw
near to God in prayer.
8. Its comprehensive scope. Prayer covers everything. Think about it,
you take the Lord’s Prayer, it deals with our physical needs in terms
of our daily bread, and our spiritual needs in terms of “Thy kingdom
come.” Peter says, “Cast all your care upon Him.” All your care, it
doesn’t matter whether it’s small or large, or middle sized care. You
also have Paul telling Timothy that we can pray for all people. The
comprehensive scope of prayer, you can pray for all people. I urge that
supplications, prayer, intercessions, thanksgiving, be made for all
people. And he specifies for kings and those who are in high positions.
9. Because of the wonderful answers secured by prayer. “Prayers of
the righteous man availeth much.” Think of all of the answers to prayer
that are found in your Bible. Some of the great miracles in your Bible
were triggered by prayer. The crossing of the Red Sea; Peter’s prison
escape was a prayer of deliverance; the rain miracle; remember Elijah.
Pentecost, they prayed before Pentecost. Pentecost was an answer to
prayer, that’s when the Spirit came.
10. Because of the graces you need and which will develop and mature
when you pray. What grace do you need to pray? You need faith, you can’t
approach God without faith. You need perseverance, it’s one of the
graces you need to keep on praying. You need love. That should drive us
to the throne of grace, not only love for God but love for our neighbor.
You need humility to pray. I would say the more you give yourself to
prayer, the more those graces grow. The more you pray the more faith
grows. The more you persevere in prayer, the more that grace of
perseverance grows. More humility, the more you come to the throne of
God and you put yourselves in a humble position, your humility grows.
11. You bring delight and pleasure to God when you pray. Proverbs
15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but
the prayer of the upright pleases or delights Him.” God is pleased by
our praying. We bring delight to the very heart of God by our prayers.
Much good, much blessing comes to us as God’s people when we pray.