Sometimes we miss the most compelling benefits to pray.
Perhaps, we hear it. Maybe, we say it. Because prayer achieves many benefits in our lives. And it performs a mighty work in the heavenly realm.
Still, believing prayer works doesn’t equal practicing it. So we struggle in this area of the Christian walk.
God created us to engage with Him in conversation. But most of us have only learned the benefits of conversing on a regular basis with people. And we miss the compelling things prayer achieves.
In these current unprecedented days, I desire to spend more time with God in prayer—to anchor myself to Him. A desire I need every day.
So let’s unpack six compelling ways P-R-A-Y-E-R works as it achieves benefits for this life and the next.
Compelling Benefits to Prayer
P – Proclaims the Lord’s glory and praise.
Proclaiming the Lord’s glory and praise is not just for times of corporate worship. In fact, prayer is a form of individual worship. And it’s never all about us like a kid with a wish-list of wants and give-me’s.
Praising the Lord and glorifying His holy name is a great way to start prayer, to pray in-between petitions and intercessions, and to finish prayer.
“My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.” Psalm 71:8 (ESV)
R – Renews a right spirit in us.
In Psalm 51, David prayed to confess his sin with Bathsheba and ask the Lord for a clean heart, to restore the joy of his salvation, and to renew a right spirit in him.
And the Lord graciously answered by doing all this and more. God restored David spiritually and to his position.
Likewise, prayer spiritually restores our relationship with God (and others), and even our position when a right spirit’s renewed in us.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (ESV)
Benefits Prayer Achieves
A – Arms us for spiritual warfare.
The Bible makes it clear; we face an unseen enemy and the forces of darkness. While Ephesians 6:10-17 describes the armor of God and its importance in this battle, we often miss the final piece in verse 18. Prayer!
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
Y – Yields our hearts to God’s purposes.
I sometimes find it difficult to yield my plans and will to the Lord. But I’m learning God’s ways are best, He knows best, and all the best things come from Him.
Notice the verses preceding the one we often quote, Romans 8:28.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28 (ESV, emphasis added)
Compelling Ways Prayer Works
E – Encourages an intimate relationship with God.
We build intimate relationships by spending time with people. So the same is true with God. When we are in God’s presence praying and listening to what He has to say to us, our intimacy with Him grows. And we know and understand Him better.
Although we use this scripture below for salvation, and rightly so, it’s also a spiritual image of inviting the Lord into our lives over and over.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 (ESV)
R – Releases our burdens and control to God.
God didn’t create us to carry burdens or to allow us control. Since the Creator is CEO of the world and my life (because I belong to Him), I only mess things up and create more burdens for myself when I take over.
And the Lord has a strong shoulder for the burdens heaped upon us from others or due to cultural issues.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Which benefit to prayer is the most compelling to you or what would you add?
Here’s my Inspire A Fire post: 6 Ways to Resemble Jesus by His Prayer