Below is an e-letter by John Paul Jackson from Streams Ministries International talking on the importance of prayer. He explains prayer in a way that really makes sense and opens many doors into the understanding of why we are to pray without ceasing. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.
Prayer Changes Everything
by John Paul Jackson
My relationship with God changed dramatically in 1978. That was the year I started praying every day. I did so because my marriage was in trouble, my little business was in trouble, my job at a major corporation was in trouble and everything was going downhill.
You know what? I thought. If I'm going to get fired, I might as well get fired because I'm a raving Christian and not because I’m being a bum, like they think I am. So I started praying — not because I was passionate about prayer but because I really, really wanted to keep my head above water!
It is time to pray
Prayer is so important. If you have read my partner letters or heard me speak recently, you know that I am concerned for the well-being of the United States. For three years, I have prophesied a “perfect storm” of dramatic events that will affect every nation on Earth. We have already seen many of these events take place, and unfortunately, this storm is far from over.
Some of you have felt the effects of this storm, and others of you, by God’s grace, have not. But no matter the current state of your circumstances, I urge you to pray. Don’t wait until you have to pray, as I did. Don’t put off strengthening your dependency on God until your life is going downhill and you are desperate. Now is the time.
God the All-Sufficient One
Something substantial happens in the spiritual realm when we acknowledge God as the All-Sufficient One who is capable of taking care of our every need. When we pray, we promote the spirit and make the mind subservient to the spirit. In other words, prayer helps us come into proper alignment.
God is Spirit, and He is our Father. We can’t take a single breath without Him (Psalm 104:29), and everything we have comes from Him (1 Chronicles 29:14). As we begin to truly understand this, our prayer lives will transform radically because we will realize our dependence on Him. We pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18). We cast our cares upon Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Most of us have a head knowledge of these truths, but we are still caught off guard when we realize that our Father genuinely does intend us to live care-free lives. He is the All-Sufficient One, and we are the ones He is all sufficient for.
God our Father
As God’s children, we have the full, legitimate right to speak to Him as our Father, to make “all kinds” of requests. If we don't personalize prayer, we won’t get very far. After a while, we will just give up because we won't have the passion for it. It is very difficult to delight in something we don't long for. It is very difficult to desire something that doesn’t seem splendorous to us. We have to personalize prayer in order to have the passion.
When we call upon His name and we understand the position that He has in our lives, our faith will increase, as well as our understanding that whatever we ask of Him, He will do. We can be confident of that: “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
However, the reverse of that is also true. We will not see God answering prayer if we do not pray.
So I want to urge each of you to pray. It is time to pull out the stops and become passionate about prayer. Speak to God on behalf of your people. Speak to God on behalf of the world. What burden has He put on your heart? Take it seriously, and pour it out in prayer before Him, remembering always that He is your Father and your words do not fall on deaf ears.
|John Paul Jackson|