WHY DAILY PRAYERS IS SO IMPORTANT:

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Quite simply, for followers of Jesus Christ prayer is the best way to communicate with God. Prayer is the vehicle for daily dialog with the One who created us. The importance of daily communication through prayer cannot be overestimated. It is so important that it is mentioned over 250 times in Scripture. So why is daily prayer so important? First, daily prayer gives us an opportunity to share all aspects of our lives with God. Second, daily prayer gives us the chance to express our gratitude for the things He provides. Third, daily prayer provides the platform for confessing our sin and asking for help in overcoming that sin. Fourth, daily prayer is an act of worship and obedience. And finally, daily prayer is a way to acknowledge who is really in control of our lives. Let’s take a look at each of these important reasons in a little more detail.

Daily prayer gives us an opportunity to share all aspects of one’s life with God. Life’s circumstances change on a daily basis. In fact, things can go from good to bad to worse in a very short time. God calls us to bring our concerns to Him for disposition and potential blessing. He also calls us to share our joys and triumphs with Him. In fact, Jeremiah 33:3 states, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” God wants us to call on Him so that He can answer our prayers. He also wants to share with us incredible blessings that we might otherwise have missed had we not reached out to Him through prayer. And finally, James 4:8 tells us to “draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” God wants us to be close to Him at all times.

Daily prayer gives us the chance to express gratitude for the things in life that He provides. It is no secret that we must give thanks to the Lord for all the things that He provides and all of the things He does on our behalf. His goodness and lovingkindness to us should be recognized on a daily basis. In 1 Chronicles 16:34, we are commanded to “give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” The psalmist tells us in Psalm 9:1, “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.” We pray on a daily basis to acknowledge His faithfulness and His abundant provision in our daily lives.

Daily prayer provides the platform for confessing our sin and asking for help repenting of that sin. Let’s face it, we all sin daily whether we know it or not. So as followers of Jesus Christ, what must we do? Scripture makes it very clear: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’— and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). Tell God what He already knows and do it on a daily basis. Daily prayer time is a great place to unburden one’s self from the debilitating effects of sin. So often Christians walk around with unconfessed sin that hinders our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, when we should humbly submit ourselves and ask for forgiveness in prayer. Another important element of daily prayer is asking God for the strength to repent of our sins. Only God can help us turn from our sins, and, for this to be so, He needs to hear our plea to repent.

Daily prayer is an act of worship and obedience. Perhaps no other verse better summarizes why we should pray on a daily basis than 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It’s God’s will for His children to rejoice in Him, to pray to Him and give thanks to Him. To pray without ceasing simply means that we should make prayer a regular habit and never stop doing so. Prayer also is an act of worship because by praying to Him we are showing Him how much we adore Him. Daily prayer is also an act of obedience that brings joy to the Lord to see His children following His commands.

Daily prayer is a way to acknowledge who is really in control of our lives. As Christians, we know who is really in control. God is sovereign. Nothing happens without God knowing about it (Isaiah 46:9-10; Daniel 4:17). Because He is sovereign over all, He deserves our worship and praise. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all” (1 Chronicles 29:11). God is our great King and as such He controls every aspect of our lives. Each day we should acknowledge His proper place in our lives humbly and with a reverence reserved for such a great and awesome King.

Finally, prayer is something that we all should want to do on a daily basis. Yet for many Christians it can be a challenge to humble one’s self in daily prayer. For those who have been walking with the Lord for many years, daily prayer may become stale and lacking in proper conviction or reverence. Whether one is a new believer or an established one, prayer should always be considered as THE best way to speak to God. Imagine not speaking to a loved one or a close friend. How long would the relationship last? Daily prayer with God is daily fellowship with our heavenly Father. It is truly amazing that God would want to have fellowship with us at all. In fact, the psalmist asks, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4). Daily prayer is a good way to understand this incredible truth and the marvelous privilege God has given us.

Prophet Nathan Emol

PRAYING FOR OUR ENEMIES:

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Several places in the Bible command us to pray for our enemies (Luke 6:27, 35; Romans 12:20). Most familiar to us is the passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:43–45, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” It is clear that Jesus expects us to pray for our enemies, but how do we do that?

Our first response to that question is probably not the right one. When someone wrongs us, we’d like to pray that disaster falls on them! We may be tempted to pray the imprecatory psalms and hope to sit back and watch God exact vengeance on the evildoers, much like Jonah did outside of Nineveh. But that is not what Jesus meant by praying for our enemies. He had something better in mind that will benefit us as well as our enemies.

When someone sets out to cause us harm, our natural reaction is to protect ourselves and fight back. They gossiped about us; we’ll gossip about them. They lied about us; we’ll lie about them. They smeared our reputation; we’ll smear theirs, too. However, Jesus calls us to a higher standard. He demonstrated that standard by never retaliating when someone wronged Him. And they wronged Him a lot. His own people rejected His message (John 1:11). The religious leaders mocked and tried to trap Him (John 8:6). His own family was ashamed of Him and tried to make Him stop preaching (Mark 3:21). His friends deserted Him in His worst moment (Mark 14:50), and the city who had cried “Hosanna!” when He arrived in town shouted “Crucify Him!” a few days later (Mark 15:13). So, Jesus had enemies, and, when He said to pray for our enemies, He knew what He was talking about.

Jesus gave us a perfect example of praying for our enemies when He was being nailed to a cross. In the middle of His own agony, He cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). He talked to His Father about the people who were harming Him. He did not ask for their destruction; He did not pray for revenge. He prayed they would be forgiven. Jesus had compassion on the deceived people who believed they were doing the right thing by killing the Son of God. They had no idea what was actually taking place. They had no idea how wrong they were. When Jesus said, “They don’t know what they are doing,” He hinted at an important factor to keep in mind when we pray for our enemies.

The enemies we pray for hurt us from their own world of hurt. Their thinking may be influenced by the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4). Their attitudes may have been shaped by past wounds (Judges 15:7). Their actions may have been manipulated by peer influences (2 Kings 12:13–14). None of this excuses their behavior or minimizes the damage they cause, but it helps to explain the why of the matter. People do what they do for their own reasons. They may not be valid reasons, but they seem so to the ones who hold them. So how do we pray for those who have hurt us and never tried to make it right?

1. We can pray that God will “open the eyes of their hearts that they will be enlightened” about truth (Ephesians 1:18). When enemies set themselves against us, they lack understanding. They are reacting from the flesh instead of responding from the Spirit. We can pray that God will open their hearts with understanding so that they will learn from their mistakes and grow wiser.

2. As we pray for our enemies, we can pray for their repentance. Second Timothy 2:25 says that “opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.” It is God who softens hearts enough for repentance. When we pray for our enemies to repent, we know we are praying in accordance with God’s will because He also desires their repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

3. When we pray for our enemies, we can ask that our hearts will remain soft and useful if the Lord wants to use us to accomplish His plan in the lives of our enemies. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). When we return anger for anger, wrong for wrong, we put ourselves on the same level as our enemy. But when we respond with kindness, gentleness, and mercy, the situation is often diffused within moments. Nothing is more convicting than a gentle response to a hateful, rude action. It’s what turning the other cheek is all about (see Matthew 5:39). Satan desires discord, so he tries to stir up our fury and coaches us to respond in kind. We should pray that God keeps our hearts soft toward the offenders so that His goodness will be revealed to them through us.

4. As we pray for our enemies, we can pray that God will work in their lives because of this offense to bring about His purposes. Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). It is always right to ask that God’s will be done in any situation. We should pray until we want what He wants. If He wants to bless our enemy, we want that, too. If He wants us to serve our enemy in some way, then that’s what we want. Prayer is the aligning of our wills with God’s; when we pray for our enemies, we need to wrestle through our emotions until we truly want God’s best in their lives.

Praying for our enemies is not a natural response to their mistreatment. But we remember that we were once enemies of God ourselves, and we are now His children. We can now intercede for others who are still far off (Colossians 1:21). In doing so, we keep our own hearts free from bitterness (Hebrews 12:15). In praying for our enemies, we become more like Christ, and we keep ourselves in harmony with God’s will, which is how every human being was designed to live.

Prophet Nathan Emol