"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, but I will instruct you in the good and right way." (1 Samuel 12:23, RSV)
PRAYER IS crucial! There is so much that we can do for others through prayer that we sin against the Lord when we fail to pray for them. As one would sin by withholding water from a thirsty person, or food from one who is starving, so we sin by withholding the good that can be done through prayer.
Shortly before His death, Jesus told His disciples that whatever they asked the Father in His name would be granted (John 16:23-24). He thus announced God's intention to form a partnership with His followers. While the mystery of how the Lord works through prayer will forever remain, the Lord has assured us that the prayers of believers have great influence with God (James 5:16). He seems to even suggest that the real prayer of faith is the insistent prayer.
There are conditions! Only good can be done through prayer. God reserves veto power over our requests (1 John 5:14). God responds only to the prayer of faith (James 1:6). The Lord would like for us to pray more (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
God help us use fully this great gift!
Dear Father, thank You for entering into partnership with us. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayers. Please help us learn how to pray without ceasing. In Jesus' name. Amen.
- CARL MITCHELL, Searcy, Arkansas