The power of prayer can be seen from moment to moment throughout our daily lives. God asks us to pray over everything. He does this because he wants to be part of our lives, he does this because he knows that if we just ask he can help us – “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” Matthew 7:7 (KJV)
We pray for understanding
Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t get it. We do not understand why something is happening or what to do next. We have all had these moments of complete confusion. Prayer can help to eliminate some, if not all, of that confusion. When we turn to God with what we do not understand he will find a way to show us what it means and why things have happened. When we pray daily for understanding we find ourselves accepting the things that, before, would have worried us. We will continue to grow in our understanding of God’s plan for our life and in the bigger picture of what God desires of the world he created.
We pray for knowledge
Understanding is one thing, but knowing is a whole new game. God mentions his desire for us to gain knowledge, but for so many of us we have never fully understood what that meant. Is it knowledge of future events? Is it book-smarts, or common sense? Honestly, it encompasses all of these. He wants us improve our minds with knowledge of the world, how things works and what is going on around us. And he wants us to think before we act, to make sure a choice we make is not going to lead us down a road of temptation. When we pray we ask for future guidance and God gives it to us. We listen for him to lead us and when we hear it, we know what path we are meant to take; we know what is right and what God desires for our future.
We pray for clarity
There are so many choices in life. College students will often change majors twice before they graduate moving on only to change careers several more times as the years pass. Decisions always seem to be difficult to make. Prayer brings us clarity. God removes the fog around the paths in our life, showing us a clear road ahead, and a goal in sight. The more we pray the clearer things become and the more often a decision does not even have to be made; we automatically know where to go or what to do.
We pray to build faith
Now faith is hard. God knows that and understands it often takes time for our faith to grow. He knows that is one of the wonderful things about prayer and its relationship with faith. The more we pray and see God answer those prayers the more faith we have in God. It is not about seeing it to believe it. That, by definition, is not faith at all. It is about seeing the extent to which God works. In our mere mortal minds we cannot grasp the concept of the doing the impossible or making something happen without limits. God can do both of these and it takes time to see that God can truly do anything. It takes braking these barriers in our minds -about what can and can’t be done – that allow us to find faith in God and in our life with Him beside us.
We pray for healing
God can heal us. He heals our hearts, our minds, our souls, and yes, even our physical being. Sometimes this can be hard for us. Often we do not realize how deep our wounds are until we ask God to stop the pain they cause and suture them up. Half of what God does for us is heal what has been broken, what evil has done to our emotions and what everyday life does to the body. It takes this healing for us to come to know God better, to understand why God loves us so fiercely and why we should love ourselves for who we are. Prayers for healing are the most sought after and easily answered prayers. All one has to do is let God in and he will heal fully with the lightest of touch.
We pray for wisdom
Wisdom is sort of the next step up from knowledge. You gain knowledge through studying and through what God shows, but wisdom is adding understanding to that knowledge, seeing it with complete clarity and, above all, imparting that wisdom onto others. It is observation really. Through your prayers God imparts this wisdom to you. He brings forth the tools you need to grow in your skills, common sense, book-smarts and emotions. It is what you know about him and the world he created, the changes it has been through and what will happen to it eventually. Our wisdom grows through prayer as we learn to listen and see the things God has to show us, the things that will improve each and every moment of our lives.
Prayer brings us growth
This may seem obvious after all that has been said up to now. Still, it is an important point. Without prayer we have no way to talk to God, to be with God on an intimate level. Without prayer we have limited knowledge and understanding and therefore cannot grow. It is about so much more than understanding or even wisdom. We seek growth in every facet of our lives. We grow in strength, understand, love, faith, joy, acceptance, knowledge and our life with God. Prayer is there to aid us. With a direct connection to God we can find the paths he wants for us, learn the things he wishes to teach, and truly know him. Everything we never realized we desired can be found in those moments we talk to God.
In Prayer we find humility
Judgment comes so easy to a human being. When we see the life we have and know the things we know it can be so easy for evil to slip in and take hold. We know a better life with God and what is good and what is bad. So easy it is to cross the invisible line between helping others to do the right thing and judging others for doing the wrong one. In our prayers God humbles us, showing us the mistakes, we too, make each day. He reminds us that no human soul is perfect, lest it be His son Jesus Christ, which too reminds us that it has the potential. Through our prayers God shows us that the path to becoming Christ-like is not through a list of do’s and don’ts, but through love, the love God has for his people, the love Jesus carried as he walked this earth, the love without which, he could never have given his life in order to save ours. Prayer in asking forgiveness will always be a reminder of this, will always fill your heart with that love. That love will pour out to others, no matter the individual and we will find humility in equality, in knowing that we too have sinned.
Prayer gives us strength
There is no doubt about it, we find our strength in God, and we find God through our prayers. Life is tough, and it seems the tiniest thing can bring our world crashing down, wondering how we will ever be able make it right again; wondering where will find the strength to even bother. Things are always stronger if there is more than one; the fusion of one molecule to another allows them to share electrons, making the composition stronger and harder to break apart. Through this process we have one of the greatest elements of life – H2O, more commonly known as water. Water is life. It finds its strength in that sharing of electrons. We are weak without being part of God – without sharing with God our worries, fears, joys, plans, ideas, and even our past. Talking with God about anything strengthens our bond to him, strengthening us to make it through the trials and tribulations of life.
Above all it builds our Relationship with God
Above all prayer allows us to know God. A relationship cannot be built without communication. Prayer is so much more than asking God for something, thanking him for what he has given us and worshiping him (though these things are important parts of prayer.) It is really about talking to him; letting him know what you think and feel, while at the same time stopping to listen to what he has to say. Sometimes he is silent, asking us to take a leap of faith to grow in our relationship with him, while at others he will show you every step he desires you to take. You even have the right to choose your own path, to do what you feel you should do, not what you think he wants you to. While this is not recommended, seeing as it will probably weaken your relationship, the point is that you have a choice, this is a real, true blue relationship. Prayer is your way to talk to God, ask him for the things you desire, ask his opinion and be there for him as much as he is there for you.
And one to grow on
Improve Our Outlook on Life. While the above mentioned befits are all important to know, it is also important that we understand the emotional benefits as well. When we draw close to God in any way we find a greater joy and happiness in life. Prayer is a way to work out all those little problems; to hand them over to God and let him deal with them while we go out and live our lives. Prayer will bring you pleasure by giving you a greater understanding of life, love God, and the connection between all three.