Some people say that prayer is just a type of meditation to make us feel better and to lull us into a false sense of security. Others say that since God is loving and good, He will give us all the things we need and will accomplish His good will whether we pray or not. I suppose most of us who are Christians say, Yes, I believe that prayer is absolutely necessary; but, by our lack of prayer, we demonstrate that we don’t believe it is important at all. If we Christians really believed that prayer was necessary there would be prayer groups popping up all over. If we really believed that prayer was necessary people would be eager to go to church; our churches would be packed full, not only on Sunday morning but also at the Wednesday night prayer meeting! Prayer is indeed necessary and here are ten reasons why:
1. PRAYER IS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN PERSONAL SALVATION
The Bible says, “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). We know that prayer does not save; God saves. But we see from this verse that God has made prayer the avenue through which salvation is granted. He decided that we must call upon Him before He will save us.
2. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
What is spiritual growth? It is growing in understanding of God’s ways. It is growing in understanding of His Word. It is developing hatred for sin and growing in the love for righteousness. Overall, it is being transformed into the image of God’s Son. Prayer helps us in all those areas.
3. PRAYER IS NECESSARY TO HELP US STAND FIRM AGAINST THE DEVIL
Jesus said, “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Jesus knew that prayer was absolutely necessary to resist temptation, that without it we are weak and vulnerable to the attacks of Satan.
4. PRAYER IS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN THINGS
God really wants us to have things—many things. However, He wants us to have only those things that are good for us. There are many good things that God wants us to have, but if we don’t ask for them we will not receive them (James 4:2).
5. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR OBTAINING FULLNESS OF JOY
Jesus said in John 16:24, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”
6. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR OBTAINING MERCY AND GRACE
Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is fully human and fully God. The human side of Him makes Him able to be sympathetic and merciful toward us, and the God side of Him makes Him able to help us at any time with any of our needs. With this great realization in view, as Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
7. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR OBTAINING FREEDOM FROM ANXIETY
Anxiety is a terrible thing. It is a state of uneasiness and apprehension, of fearfulness and dread. But prayer can make it all go away. For when you pray God will help you to see that He is in control and that He loves you and cares for you. Here is the promise from Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
8. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR OBTAINING THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We know that the person of the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer (Read Romans 8:9); however, every believer does not seem to possess the power of the Spirit. Some live every day just like pagans. They don’t hear God speak to them; they don’t seem to have any spiritual strength; and they have very little power over temptation. Submit to God. Resist the Devil. Pray that God would fill you with His Spirit and empower you to serve Him and He will.
9. PRAYER IS NECESSARY TO HELP PEOPLE BELIEVE
When prayers are offered up and unbelievers see God at work through those prayers, they may believe. The raising of Lazarus and the public prayer by Jesus, for example, was done in order that people would believe (Read John 11:1-46). In fact, according to the story, it seemed as if Jesus purposely delayed his coming to Lazarus so that He would get a chance to call him forth from the dead and thus create the opportunity for people to believe. For in John 11:6 it says, “When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed there two days longer in the place where He was.”
10. PRAYER IS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT GOD’S WORK
Every Christian has been given the privilege and responsibility to do the work of God. And we do it with His help through prayer. In fact, when we pray we enter into a prayer meeting with His Son and with His Spirit who are constantly praying (Hebrews 7:25).