By Yi Mi
It is said in the Bible that “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus” (Phl 4:6-7).
Through these verses, first I want to share a story which I saw on the Internet a few days ago.
Being busy, a believer often had no time to pray. Consequently, he thought out a way; that was, he wrote the prayer down and hung it on the wall. Afterward, he prayed to the Lord, saying he was pretty busy and he really had no time to pray. He let the Lord have a look. After you hear this story, I believe that you, as I read it for the first time, are also unable to know if you should laugh or cry. Nonetheless, it is really the true state of many brothers and sisters in the Lord. Often, we neglect prayer for being busy. Even if we pray, the praying is merely to go through the process. Have we thought whether God will listen to our prayers? I’ll give you an inappropriate example. If two persons love each other, they surely keep no secrets from each other and want to talk more constantly. On the contrary, if they have no feeling, they will be as the word “in the wrong company a single word is too many” describes. In fact, the relationship between God and us is the same way. If there are no normal prayers and no communion between God and us, how can we have a normal relationship with Him? Without a normal relationship, how can He admit that we are believers in Him?
Prayer is for Christians a necessary way to practice spiritual devotions and also the basic requirement God made of us. However, we don’t know the significance of prayer, so we consider it to be an additional burden, and even to be an encumbrance.
God says, “Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit. It can be said that those who are without prayer are dead ones without spirit, proof that they lack the faculties to be touched by God. Without prayer, they are unable to attain a normal spiritual life, much less are they able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit; without prayer, they sever their relationship with God, and are incapable of receiving God’s approval. Being someone who believes in God, the more you pray, the more you are touched by God. Such people have greater resolution and are more able to receive the latest enlightenment from God; as a result, only people like this can be made perfect as soon as possible by the Holy Spirit” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”).
From God’s words, we see that prayer is for us a way to call out to God and also a way to engage with His Spirit. If we have no prayer in believing in God, we will have no way to engage with His Spirit, nor will we be the people who truly live in the presence of Him. Whoever has no prayers is someone who doesn’t have a spirit. When we long for God in our heart, we will call upon and fellowship with Him, and then the Holy Spirit will work on us and enlighten us to understand His will. Thereupon, we can better achieve being perfected by Him.
Looking back, Joshua’s leading the people of Israel to rise against Jericho was in the prayer; so it was with the Ninevites who repented and received God’s mercy. In my own practical experience, I also tasted that when I could not understand or discern many things, I could unconsciously understand them and then know how to do them by praying; when I encountered danger or tribulations, by praying, I would have confidence and be firm and courageous, and so on. I really knew in experience that the meaning of prayer is too profound and that God imparts too much to us when we pray to Him.
If you can pray to God with your heart, open your heart to Him, and speak more of the words within your heart to Him, you will surely feel the power of prayer. And if you understand the significance of prayer, you will not take being busy as an excuse to refuse to get close to God.