Written by Kimberly Dybeck
Is prayer accepted as part of our faith because it falls in the category of being something spiritual? Do we accept prayer as important because it is a familiar part of going church – part of the ‘Christian’ package? Is praying just one of the things Christians traditionally do and is it one choice among a list of choices for Christian living? Is prayer constructive aversion for weak people or is it really important to God? Maybe prayer is a grace given to us by God – a gift among gifts so that God can relate to people and people to God. Are we to think of prayer as simply important or so important?
If you are not sure whether to take a cursory interest in prayer or deliberately seek to pursue a life of prayer, consider this sampling of Scriptures about prayer:
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16)
Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray… (Luke 6:12)
All with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (Acts 1:14)
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1)
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
One day we will all recognize that prayer is not only important; but ‘so important.’ Prayer, initiated by God, is the relational conduit for communication between humans and a holy God. Followers of Jesus learned to pray by observing him. He exhibited the importance of prayer in his earthly life and taught others to do the same.
In prayer we can be our true self in the presence of True God. I no longer ask why prayer is so important; I only know that it is. As Anthony Bloom said in his book, Beginning To Pray, “I am a beginner myself.” That is good news because God meets us in the beginning places and leads us from there. To be enveloped within the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is a great gift. And that gift my friend is so important!