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Praying is an essential practice for a Christian life since it is the communication we have between God and us. This communication is without a doubt the vital thing that we can do every single day. It does not matter whether you are a born-again Christian or not, but get used to praying and see how your life changes. Prayer is a subject that is often discussed, but ironically it is less practiced in reality. However, prayer happens almost everywhere, from church halls to the football field, dinner table, and schools, especially during exams. Most believers of Jesus Christ usually ensure that they have additional time daily to pray apart from the normal religious services.
Prayer brings a vast array of emotional benefits to us, such as finding peace during a health crisis. For this reason, it is far much better to pray and fail to get answers than failing to offer a prayer at all. Prayer is just like an untapped resource with hidden treasures, and if not practiced, we cannot get these treasures. We should avoid associating prayers with crises and make it an everyday practice, just like eating and talking. There is no Christian who grows and matures spiritually, minus the prayers. Just like a husband who should speak to his wife every day if he has to get a good marriage, we should talk to our Creator daily to be good Christians.
Christians who do not pray usually end up living miserable lives.
When I was joining college to pursue nursing, I was a prayer warrior. I used to wake up at 3 a.m. to pray. I would first read the Bible for a few minutes and listen to God speaking to me through His word. I would then pray for a considerable amount of time, and I would feel the presence of God in me. I used to pray in spirit without straining or forcing myself.
Apart from the morning devotion, I would set aside time to communicate with God, which happened so effortlessly when I was in my first and second year in college. I was even part of the prayer groups in the Christian Union, and I would make sure that I attend all the prayer sessions not unless I had a valid reason to fail. During this time, my life was also effortless, almost in all dimensions from finances, health, and relationship with other people around me.
For this reason, I was rarely in conflict with anyone, and even if small arguments arose, I would solve them so amicably. I felt I was the best version of myself. When I prayed, God answered most of my prayer requests, and the requests that I never received instantly, I would have the patience without even panicking about anything. Besides, I used to pray for other people, especially my friends and family, and I was convinced that my prayers were being answered when I looked at their lives.
However, it reached a point from the third year when my prayer life changed. I would rarely wake up to pray, and I started praying just one time a day. This happened because of the new friends I spent my time with. Friends who never bothered to pray but they seemed to do well in life. Maybe that made me think that I can still do well, too, without the prayers. It reached a time when I could not even pray a single time a day. This changed my life, but I could not immediately know prayerlessness was the reason.
I became impatient and was easily provoked, and was short-tempered and an ungrateful complainer. My melancholy temperament took charge, and you could easily spot all the weaknesses of this temperament in me since there was nothing to suppress them anymore. All this time, I did not realize I had changed a lot. I finally cleared college when still living the same life of prayerlessness. Now I was a graduate, and I started looking for a job. I went for two consecutive interviews and failed. I continued with my job applications, but unfortunately, I was not shortlisted for the interviews in 4 straight months.
Months passed by, and finally, one year, but still, my job search was unsuccessful. It just became more tedious and draining every new day.
One evening I sat down and started meditating about my life. I remembered with nostalgia how my first and second year in college ran great when I lived a prayerful life. I decided to start praying again, and things became better. Prayers worked wonders. I became more patient, and I had complete control over my emotions. My job search became pretty easy, and I finally got my dream job just one month later. Since then, I have always practiced prayers, and I can feel my life has become better.
The Bible teaches us that we should pray persistently. Paul urges us that as Christians, we should "continue earnestly with prayer." Jesus gave a parable in Luke 18 that encourages us to pray at all times without losing heart. Persistence means that we should pray at all times without giving up and does not necessarily mean saying long prayers. It only means that we should keep praying even when we don't feel like doing it, simply because it is a command and not a feeling. Also, we should always pray not from the head but from the heart.
Prayers from the heart ensure that we do no engage in empty words as Jesus warned in Mathew 6 verse 7. Praying from the heart will also help us to emulate Jesus in praying for everything. When he was calling his disciples during his transfiguration, he prayed all situations when He was hanging on the cross. When we pray, we should do it with gratitude, just like Paul urges us in Phillipians4:6. Praying with gratitude shows how much we depend on God and how humble we are. Finally, when we pray, we should intercede for other people that God's will be done in their lives and not focus too much on ourselves.
Praying for others brings us blessings, and he uses us more in doing His will. Prayer is powerful, and we should always pray. Prayer aligns our actions, thoughts, and emotions according to God's will and grows our patience, especially when God's answer demands that we wait. Most importantly, prayer helps us to make progress in life and accomplish many things. This is seen in John 15:5, when Jesus says that without Him, we can do nothing. Become a prayerful person, and you will see God's wonders.