Roderick Rogers serves on the Prayer Task Force at the ABSC. He is currently planting Surrender Church in North Little Rock.
You’ve seen pictures and images of small children praying with folded hands while kneeling at bedtime. Some people see prayer as something you do during a particularly scary or painful experience. “Dear God, if you’re up there, help!” Most people realize it has something to do with talking to God. Many hope that it might bring much needed assistance or comfort when facing difficult circumstances.
Prayer is not only an important part of Christianity, but it is essential in most world religions.
So, what is prayer and why is it important? Prayer is more than something to check off a to-do list. It’s more than an obligation or expectation. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts and privileges we have as Christians. It’s God’s gift of his time to be available for conversation at any time of day or night. His gift to listen to your heart, and to answer in ways beyond your comprehension.
Prayer isn’t meant to be an afterthought, a last resort when nothing else has worked. It’s meant to be your guiding star, the most crucial conversation of your day.
Prayer is your conversation with God and how you can develop a personal, meaningful relationship with the God who loves you. It’s how he can do miracles in your heart. Through prayer, he can bring your life into alignment with his vision and plans.
I pray because I feel it draws me near to God. It’s impossible to know someone if you don’t spend time with them. Prayer is an opportunity to spend time with God. To really understand the heart of God, you need to pray. In John 15:15, Jesus says He no longer calls us His servants, but calls us His friends. Talking with God develops a deeper relationship with Him. The deeper the relationship becomes, the more time you want to spend with Him. In 1 Corinthians 3:9, God calls us His fellow workers. How can we be His fellow workers if we refuse to talk to Him?
I also believe it’s important to pray because prayer can change us. When we spend time with God, He is working to change our heart to be more like His. The more time we spend with Him, the more we are like Him. Our habits and lifestyles change. We no longer live a self-centered life, but one that is focused on others with a pure and sincere heart. Prayer changes us inside out.