Somedays I just don’t feel like praying. I’d rather stay in bed longer, or do some other medial task.
But then the thought hits me; that prayer is significant to all of my life’s needs.
Excuses abound for not praying, but more times than not I think the reason more people don’t pray is that they don’t understand the purposes or the objectives of prayer.
Or, if our prayer lives are weak and anemic, we must understand the objectives to prayer so that we might keeping praying. Our understanding of the importance of prayer in our lives will help us stay motivated and fight through the dry times of our prayer lives. And having a knowledge of the purposes to prayer might jump start our prayer lives.
Here are 5 objectives to prayer….
1. Our relationship with Jesus- This is the most important objective to prayer. You can’t know Jesus without prayer. You may be able to read about Him in books and even in the Bible, but you will not know Him without prayer. I know of many people who have a head full of knowledge about Jesus and a heart void of knowing Him. Prayer is time spent with Jesus. It’s communing with Him as you would with your spouse. You can’t know someone unless you spend time talking to that person. In our day we know many people by their faces from Facebook and Twitter but have little knowledge of that person outside of a few cute status updates. I think sometimes we have a face value with Jesus and know a few of His popular quotes, yet we don’t know Him personally. Prayer solves this. It’s building a connection, a relationship with Him. He doesn’t want to know what you’ve heard about Him from others, but “Who do YOU say that I am?” (Philippians 3:10)
2. Fighting the Flesh- Before we can fight the devil we must fight ourselves. We must bring our bodies under subjection to the Spirit of God, and this can come through prayer. Fasting increases our fight against the flesh, but prayer brings a certain unction to our war against the flesh. Our flesh will spiral out of control without prayer. I know when my flesh is gaining an upper hand when my prayer life starts to drift. Getting up in the early morning to pray helps me keep my flesh in the right perspective, and that it will not have dominion over my day and my time. The flesh gains a foot hold on a life when prayer ceases.(Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 9:27)
3. Repentance- We can’t live a life of repentance without prayer. If there’s anything that should drag you to the prayer closet it should be to get repentance from the daily grind of our carnal nature. True repentance begins at an altar of prayer. You can’t die out to sin unless you go to the Lord with a contrite spirit and brokenness. Taking time out to gain forgiveness from Jesus is worth your time in prayer. (Psalm 51, 1 John 1:9-10)
4. Spiritual warfare- In case you didn’t know this; we are in a war. Our spiritual war is not fought with bombs and guns, it’s not fought against flesh and blood, but it’s against principalities, dominions and against spiritual wickedness in high places. The devil loves a prayerless saint (if there is such a thing). The devil will gain an advantage over us with temptations and trials if we are not prayed up. We must have our minds, hearts and spirit in tune with the Holy Ghost if we are going to fight against the wiles and schemes of the devil. Many fall to the devils devices because of a lack of prayer. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
5. Answered prayers- James said “you have not because you ask not.” Prayers aren’t being answered because they aren’t being prayed. This part of praying is very important, and a great reason to pray. Most of us spend our time in prayer just asking Jesus to do things for us, and we overlook the other purposes to praying. If we learn who Jesus is in prayer, and understand that He is our Father and will provide for us then asking for Him to meet certain needs is quite satisfying. This should be the last phase of our prayer time. Praising, worshiping, seeking Him and taking time out for repentance should take priority in our praying, but we should by no means leave out our petitions. Prayers that aren’t answered can’t be blamed on God if we do no ask Him.
Time and space fail me to give more reasons to pray, such as anointing, sensitivity to the Spirit, preparation, readiness, unction, wisdom and countless others!!
The next time your flesh and busy schedule try to tell you that you do not need to pray, or when you think there is no point to praying remind yourselves of these 5 objectives to prayer.
What are some other objections of prayer?