The Importance of Prayer

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 New Living Translation (NLT)
     Prayer is a vital part of walking out our relationship with Christ.  Simply put prayer is communication with God.  If we don’t have communication, then how can we have a true relationship.  Relationships require communication.   Imagine a husband never communicating with his wife, or a wife never communicating with her husband, how do you think that would work out?  Jesus desires for us to pray.  Prayer is one of the most important ways that we can grow into a more intimate relationship with Christ.  If prayer is simply communication with God, is there a certain way that we must pray, do we need to pray long, and how exactly do we pray?
     There are many reasons to pray.  We pray to thank God for all He has done, is doing, and will do.  We pray to repent and ask for forgiveness of our sins.  We pray for healing, freedom, and deliverance.  We can make our requests known to Christ.  We are to pray and intercede for others.  We should pray when everything is going good, and when things aren’t going so good.  The thing is we should not only pray when things are not going good and hardships are upon us, but we are to pray at all times and seasons of our life.  One minister talked about not asking God to come into a hard situation, but already having communed with God when everything was going good and then we walk with Him through the situation.  Talk to God about everything.  God is not to busy to hear from you, the truth is, He wants to hear from you.
     It is important to note that prayer isn’t about the posture of your body as much as it is about the posture of your heart.  Prayer isn’t confined to you being on your knees with your head bowed.  Prayer can be done while you are driving in the car, while you are at work, or even when you are cleaning the house.  It is not about how you pray, but from where you pray, and your prayers should come from your heart.  You can pray ritualistically and pray a lot, but if it isn’t sincere then you are babbling words that will have little to no effect.  If you pray ritualistically, it favors religion more than it favors a relationship with Jesus.  It is not even about the quantity, but it is about the quality.  Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6 that is not about being seen and it is not even about repeating our requests over and over.  Jesus says that the heathen think they will be heard for the much speaking, but Jesus says that the Father knows what you have need of even before you ask.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pray, but that you should be sincere and believe He hears the first time that you ask.
     It is not even about the lingo when you pray.  It is not about praying the deep voice prayer with eloquent words like maybe you have heard some minister pray.  It is about you opening your heart to God, and seeking Him with all that you are.  He loves you, and He desires a relationship with you.  Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock.  We are to make our request known to Him as well as thank Him for who He is and all He has done.  Prayer should not be a task but we should be hungry to want to get to know God more.  Through prayer and the reading and studying of God’s word, we can come to know Jesus more, and have a more intimate relationship with Him.