Prayer. To some, it’s a way of life, but to others, it can be mysterious or complicated. Oftentimes, it’s referred to as a Christian discipline, which can make it sound difficult or oppressive.
However, prayer is a wonderful thing that provides many benefits. These benefits go beyond the individual praying.
In this article, we’ll define what prayer is and look at some of the benefits prayer provides.
What Is Prayer
People define prayer in various ways but the simplest way to describe it is communication with God.
Some Benefits of Prayer
1. Prayer changes our focus. It’s easy to get caught up in the circumstances going on around us, good or bad. Praying directs our focus away from here on earth to God in heaven.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth (Colossians 3:2, NLT).
2. Prayer brings us closer to God. Because prayer is communicating with God, it helps us build our relationship with him. It’s one of the many ways we can get to know him better.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
3. Prayer ushers us into God’s presence. In the Old Testament, people needed the priests or prophets to talk to God for them. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn in two, opening the way for us to talk to God ourselves.
The curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51).
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
4. Prayer is a way to help others. There are two ways this is true. One is praying with someone and the other is praying for someone. One is done in person (or over the phone), while the other is done in your private time.
Pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16).
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:9-12, ESV).
5. Prayer helps calm us. The world is full of things that bring anxiety into our lives and prayer can restore our peace.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7, NLT).
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
6. Prayer brings about change. The familiar phrase prayer changes things is true. Sometimes the things that change are circumstances, while other times we are the thing that prayer changes.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops (James 4:16-18).
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).
And the List Goes On and On
The benefits of prayer can’t be exhausted. Prayer helps us find direction in life. It can prevent us from making wrong decisions and falling into sin. Through it, we can learn to submit to God’s will.
Prayer helps us receive forgiveness and love. It also helps us love our enemies as we understand how we were once God’s enemy but, through Jesus, we are friends and heirs.
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Danielle Bernock is an international, award-winning author, coach, and speaker who helps people embrace their value and heal their souls through the power of the love of God. She’s written Emerging With Wings, A Bird Named Payn, Love’s Manifesto, Because You Matter, and hosts the Victorious Souls Podcast. A long-time follower of Christ, Danielle lives with her husband in Michigan near her adult children and grandchildren. For more information or to connect with Danielle https://www.daniellebernock.com/